Online Taxi Drivers Begin indefinite strike in Kenya

Drivers of the leading cab-hailing platforms operating in Kenya Uber, Taxify, Little and Mondo Ride have began an indefinite strike in Nairobi from Monday 11 September to protest against the unfriendly policies of their service providers.

The drivers in a joint statement said, “We online drivers and partners would like to inform our esteemed customers that as from this coming Monday 11/9/2017 our services shall not be available until further notice. This is due to improper management of our service providers which has been making us to work for long hours only to get nothing.”

The drivers under Kenya Digital Taxi Association have submitted a charter of demands to the companies. The drivers’ say the cab hailing companies have been increasing discounts and free rides without consultation. Also, part of their primary demands are thus an immediate increase in the minimum charge and they also want the firms to stop the onboarding of new drivers.

The drivers allege that their incomes have reduced drastically in recent months as the taxi-hailing firms continue to accept more cabs. The drivers are demanding that new registrations be stopped given the increased competition for passengers.

According to a report by The Star Newspaper, the drivers are “demanding that there be a minimum fare of Sh300 to any destination across all service providers, and a reduction of the commission per trip of 25 per cent by Uber to at least 10 per cent on the lower side or 15 per cent on the higher side.”

Over the last few months, the drivers have been engaged in on-again off-again strikes in response to falling earnings.

Thousands of people across Nairobi will be affected by the agitation. Apart from unavailability of cabs and skyrocketing rates, there have been instances of protesting drivers forcibly stopping rides and snatching away GPS devices. Without the device, a driver cannot accept ride requests.