Fuel price hike: Why Bolt, Uber drivers will join NLC strike – Union  

Drivers of app-based transportation companies including Bolt, Uber, Rida, and Indriver, among others, have said they will be joining the strike action planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) starting from Wednesday, June 7. 

Advising all their members to withdraw their services from the said date, the drivers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), said all app-based drivers will be joining the strike because the e-hailing companies have refused their demand to increase prices on their platforms by 200%. They said they are also protesting the huge commission being charged by the app-based transport companies.  

Service withdrawal notice 

The drivers’ union in a service withdrawal notice sent to its members, a copy of which was sighted by Nairametrics, stated: 

  • “Sequel to the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at her meeting on 2nd June 2023 over the increase in the pump price of petroleum motor spirit PMS by Federal Government of Nigeria through NNPCL and the failure of application Companies to meet our demands of 200% fare increase and 50% reduction in commission, this is to inform all state councils and Branch Chapters of our great union across Nigeria to begin mobilization for the nationwide action and withdrawal of our service from app-based companies, which would commence on Wednesday 7th June 2023. 
  • “All Regional Vice Presidents are to coordinate their Region by ensuring that state council and Branch chapters mobilize their members for total compliance, also note that each of our members must fully comply with the directive.” 

Earlier demands 

The drivers’ union had last Friday asked Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indriver, and others to urgently review their prices upward by 200% and set minimum trip fares at N2,000. While making the demand, the drivers expressed concerns over the ripple effect of the new fuel price on its members.  

National President of the union, Mr. Adedamola Adeniran, in a statement, said the new fuel price was causing hardship on its members’ earnings and patronages, which is why a 200% price increase is necessary across the platforms.  

According to Adediran, app-based drivers lacked the capacity to increase the fare by themselves, unlike independent cab drivers, branded taxi drivers, bus drivers, and others. He also urged the companies not to deactivate any of the drivers as a result of the fuel subsidy removal. 

The drivers also made a case for the riders who will bear the brunt of the increment as they asked the ride-hailing companies to introduce a 5% subsidy to cushion the effect of the increase on the riders. Aside from the increase in price, the drivers are also demanding a 50% reduction in the commission being charged by Bolt, Uber, and others.