Striking Uber drivers go ‘offline’
Uber and Taxify drivers in Johannesburg have called on their colleagues to protest by going “offline” on Friday.
The protest is in response to some drivers allegedly being targeted by Uber after handing a memorandum of demands to the company earlier in the week.
Operators embarked on a strike on Tuesday and presented the memorandum to Uber‚ demanding among other things that fare prices be increased.
A general task team comprising of Uber and Taxify operators said on Friday that the memorandum submitted to Uber had been given no consideration and their requests had been ignored.
“After submitting our memorandum on Tuesday‚ Uber responded by blocking several drivers‚ stating that their participation in a legally protected strike is a punishable action and refusing these drivers any right to appeal‚” said the task team‚ calling the organisation’s actions “arrogant”.
“However‚ we will with absolute certainty be heard - at any cost necessary. We are continuing with our complete shutdown and call for all drivers to be offline on Friday.
“We will be marching to demand that our victimised drivers are immediately unblocked and the intimidation of driver partners by Uber and Taxify is stopped‚” said the task team.
The memorandum‚ which was submitted to Uber offices in Sandton on Tuesday‚ demanded that operators get a bigger share of their profit-sharing agreement with the company.
The protesting drivers called on Uber to reduce the 25% share it deducts from every operator's trip‚ proposing that this should be reduced to 15%.
They also demanded that operators should have representatives on the companies' boards and called for a halt to the companies hiring new entrants‚ saying the platforms were already "saturated" with drivers.