Starting on Monday, April 19, members of the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owner Association (PEDPA), an umbrella group of Nigerian e-hailing drivers, intend to stage a protest followed by an industrial action against Uber and Bolt.
According to PEDPA, the decision was made to combat the two main online taxi hailing service providers in Nigeria’s systematic enslavement of Nigerian drivers.
The group bemoans the fact that corporations have failed to conduct proper driver profiling and authentication, putting them at risk of serious security threats.
It also opposes the companies’ callous reactions to the deaths and maiming of active-duty drivers.
Idris Shonuga, the Association’s National President, told FIJ that despite owning the cars and being responsible for fueling and maintenance, Uber and Bolt do not allow drivers to have a say over transportation charges.
He said, “We don’t even have contractual commitments to have a say in the price of our transportation service.” “A slave is just a person who has no say about what is thrown at him or her.”
In September 2020, the union wrote to Uber and Bolt Nigeria Limited, demanding a meeting to discuss the welfare of e-hailing drivers.
The failure of the companies to react to the first letter prompted the second, in which the association threatened to stage a protest if they did not come up with a solution that would improve the quality of living for e-hailing drivers in Nigeria.
“As a result of your casual attitude, continued violence, unfriendly/inhuman treatment, and unjustifiable unilateral blocking of e-hailing drivers from your data base in Nigeria, we will be compelled or left with no other option but to mobilize/organize our members for an embarrassing protest against your company if you fail to meet the leadership on or before the end of bus service.