Digital-based taxi drivers downed their tools Monday following the collapse of a return-to-work formula Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that they reached with taxi firms in July 2018.
Drivers from notable companies such as Uber, Bolt (formerly known as Taxify) and Little Cab have accused the companies of disregarding their deal.
The drivers alluded that the firms are taking up bigger percentages of pay than agreed. They are demanding for better working conditions and increased pricing in the new MOU.
Taxi Drivers and Partners Association of Kenya Secretary General, Waweru Jamaicah had a day earlier issued a notice for the strike calling for better working terms, a sustainable business model and the introduction of online taxi regulations.
“We are sorry to inform you that you will not enjoy taxi hailing services as from 15th July, 2019. All our drivers and partners associated to Uber, Taxify and all other taxi apps have issued a strike notice. Plan accordingly to avoid any inconveniences,” said Waweru in the statement.
The drivers represented in the Digital Taxi Forum (DTF) wrote to the transport ministry and noted that nothing substantial has come out of the MOU to date because the digital taxi app companies never honored the deal citing different issues.
President of the Digital Taxi Forum (DTF), John Kimani said that they will remain on strike until an agreement that will be acceptable by all parties and stakeholders involved is reached.
“We have no other recourse than to begin our indefinite strike. We will be picketing and holding peaceful demonstrations daily until our concerns are addressed,” said Kimani.
On 11th July 2018 drivers from the digital taxi apps had agreed to review the pricing of trips upwards to promote their welfare. The Digital companies had also agreed to sign a deal for better compensation to their drivers through adjustments of both commissions charged on the driver’s earnings and the customer charge per kilometer.
The Ministry of Transport earlier tasked the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) with the mandate of managing the MOU and ensuring its implementation.