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Bolt Drivers, Uber Go On Strike in Nigeria, Call For 200% Increment In Fares

The Amalgamated Union Of App-Based Transport Workers Of Nigeria (AUATWON), which represents e-hailing drivers, has suspended operations due to low prices.

The rise by the app-based companies, according to a statement from the union, was between 25 and 30 percent, significantly less than the union’s demands of a 200 percent increase and, accordingly, a 50 percent reduction in commission.

The strike, which got underway on Wednesday, was also a response to the hefty commission fees established by Uber and Bolt, two of Nigeria’s largest ride-hailing companies.
The drivers said that they had previously requested that the firms lower their commissions on the grounds that they did not correspond to industry benchmark rates since they could no longer do their jobs under these circumstances.
The change coincides with higher petrol prices at the pump in Africa’s largest economy after the government stopped providing subsidies for the good.

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They urged all app-based workers across the country to be ready to fight the menace until victory was achieved.
The statement read in part, “The union’s technical team is versed with the operation and technicality of ride-hailing companies and on our calculations, any app company can break even charging below five per cent even though the union recommended a flat commission of 10 per cent or 50 per cent off their current commission during our last meeting, as we believe this will help us to cope with maintenance costs, spare parts and various overhead cost and the current fuel increase.

“We can no longer tolerate any act of dictatorial practices by any app company because we are workers and as an organised union, we have written several letters to these companies for a round table discussion where we can look at various areas of concern and dialogue but they have remained adamant with a deliberate intention to avoid responsibility.

“So, as a result of this insensitivity, the union is directing all its members across the nation to shut down their service on all ride-hailing applications from Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in protest against every dictatorial practice and lack of concern for welfare and security of App-Based Transport workers of Nigeria.

“This is a solidarity step we must take together to protect our investment as fleet managers, secure our business as workers, and secure our job as app drivers.
“We are confident this will give us a better and profitable industry that will encourage every stakeholder.”

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Segun Akinlabi

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