Kumasi: Drivers of ride-hailing apps protest over poor working conditions

Members of the Online Drivers Association in Kumasi on Tuesday, May 11, began a one-week strike in protest of what they call poor conditions of service.

According to the drivers who primarily use ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Bolt, the recent increment in fuel prices has worsened their plight.

Speaking to Citi News, the drivers stressed that they want the government to intervene by regulating such operations.

As part of the one-week strike declared by the Online Drivers Association in Kumasi, the members held various placards with inscriptions such as ‘One Week Strike”, Increase in Transport Fares, “Re-introduction of cancellation fee”, and “identification of riders” among others.

The Public Relations Officer of the group, Isaac Boateng highlighted some of the concerns of the group to Citi News.

“We can put our major concerns in two or three folds. The first is the fuel increment. Also, our security is a major issue. We are inviting the government to come to our aid to make sure that these ride-hailing companies are being regulated. As I speak now, we don’t know the ministry or the institution we are working under. For instance, if I want to set up a school, I know that I have to consult GES and the Ministry of Education so that my school will be approved and then regulated afterwards.”

“If I want to set up a hospital, I know that I will be working under the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health. Our “Trotro” and taxi drivers as we know are working under the Ministry of Transport. In our case, we ask this; which ministry are we working under? Or who is regulating the ride-hailing companies?” he added.

In compliance with the directive by the group’s leadership not to engage in activities until their grievances are addressed, many of the drivers parked their cars by the roadside on Tuesday.

They also urged other members who were not complying with the directive to embark on the strike to be part of the exercise.

“It seems there is no regulation or institution for the app companies. I say this because most often, in the past years, we petitioned the president himself, Nana Akufo-Addo. We petitioned the Council of State, we petitioned the Ministry of Transport, we petitioned the parliamentary select committee on transport, we petitioned the national security and others. We are serious about it. We want them to ask the app companies to make sure that there will be a feature in the riders app where every single rider who would want to patronize our platform can be recognized or identified by the system”, Isaac Boateng noted.

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