Following the recent protest by app-based taxi driver-partners against the Uber and Taxify platforms, a driver has provided some insights into the situation.
Sandton Chronicle reported in Uber and Taxify drivers go offline in demand for improved partnership (week ending 13 July) where the list of demands made by drivers was delivered to the head office of Uber.
The driver-partner who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation said he has been an Uber driver for a few months and on the Taxify platform for about a year and he pointed out a few of the pitfalls of the recent protest action.
“I understand the guys are unhappy about the fuel prices, but it affects everyone that owns a vehicle, not just taxi drivers and what is Uber supposed to do about the petrol price?”
He continued that in a corporate environment, you can’t address a memorandum to your employer as your oppressor, when in fact they have provided you with employment and the freedom to work for yourself.
They should have discussed the issue with all the drivers. Not all the drivers were informed of the strike action. “I only heard about the strike on the radio on the day and they do not represent all the drivers.”
Regarding the list of demands, the driver-partner said it is completely unrealistic for them to expect the base fare to be increased to R50.
“The whole point of Uber is convenience and that people can afford it. The price increases are unrealistic and will make the service too expensive.
“Instead of a list of demands, they should have gotten together with all the drivers, not just some of them, and come up with suggestions to take to Uber and Taxify.”
One of the demands is that Uber stop adding vehicles on the road. “If they did their research they would know that Uber has stopped adding new cars and that there is a waiting list.”
He continued that he was on a waiting list for a year and that they only add new vehicles if the demand is there.
The driver said that everything on the list of demands that they want to change is there for a reason such as marketing, training and development.
“It is really not that bad and drivers are able to make good money,” he said.
He also spoke about the incentives that Uber has put in place such as the added fuel value where drivers receive 25c per litre of petrol they put in.
Another way they assist is by adding a guaranteed minimum for drivers that are online at certain periods. “For example, from 5am to 9am, drivers are guaranteed to make at least R400 if they do trips.”
The driver suggested in terms of increases that it should be done in small increments that won’t affect business.
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