Taxi drivers countrywide have threatened to down their tools on Monday to push for implementation of better pricing by the dominant app companies.
The drivers have accused the dominant companies of ignoring terms of a deal they entered into in July, last year.
According to the taxi drivers, US-based Uber and Estonian software firm Taxify have refused to negotiate in good faith with the drivers’ representatives regarding the various changes they have been making without proper consultations.
Mr John Kimani, president Digital Taxi Forum says they will remain on strike until an agreement, that will be favourable to all stakeholders, is reached.
“We have no other recourse than to begin our indefinite strike from July 15. We will be picketing and holding peaceful demonstrations daily until our concerns are addressed,” Mr Kimani.
They are aggrieved that the dominant companies have been engaging in price wars, much to the detriment of the drivers and third party vehicle owners who are never consulted whenever the changes are made.
The drivers say this has led to all-time low fares that have reduced their earnings to an unsustainable level.
In July, last year, at the Ministry of Transport, the Digital Taxi App companies (Uber, Bolt formerly Taxify, Little Cab, and others) and the Digital Taxi Forum, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create and establish a workable solution to end the conflict between the parties.
DIGITAL TAXI DRIVERS
Unfortunately, nothing substantial has come out of the MOU. Mr Kimani says this is because the digital taxi app companies never honoured the MOU citing several excuses.
“Our members feel short-changed. They have been patient enough awaiting implementation of the MOU to no avail,” Mr Kimani.
The Ministry of Transport had in July, 2018 agreed to sign a MoU with digital taxi drivers after a lengthy meeting to iron out grievances that had also seen them down their tools.
Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa, who chaired the talks at his Transcom House office, Nairobi, had stated that the department had agreed to sign a MOU with the drivers that includes a pricing structure.
Mr Kimani says the digital taxi drivers feel that their good faith in signing the MOU was taken for granted by the Ministry and the APP companies.