E-HAILING cab drivers have halted operations in parts of Port Harcourt as they protested against an alleged unhealthy work relationship with the e-hailing companies they ride for.
About 100 drivers lined the streets of Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday to voice their grievances. The cab drivers, who carried placards with several inscriptions, marched through the streets of Port Harcourt and stopped at the premises of a popular Radio station in the state.
The protesting drivers shut their hailing applications and parked their cars by the side of the East-West Road.
According to some of the drivers, they operate under harsh conditions and sometimes get attacked and kidnapped by miscreants.
One of the drivers said, “The situation with these e-hailing platforms is very terrible in this state and we need a change. That is why we have come out in our numbers to speak up that we have suffered enough of sexual harassment from female riders to male drivers and vice versa.
“We have suffered insecurity where thieves, after stealing people’s ATM cards, will use them to book rides and we get robbed.
“We want these platforms to verify and profile the riders. As much as we are partners, we are also very important because without us there will be nothing like an e-hailing cab service.
“We need fair treatment, we are partners and not slaves to them. If they don’t set up, we will embark on an indefinite strike.”
A female driver said, “Some riders will book and cancel and book as many times as possible. They are cancelling the ride; your activity score and percentage are dropping at intervals. We are being punished for the wrongs of the riders.
“Profiling is needed in the sense that somebody books a ride and when you call the person at the pickup spot, the person denies. In some cases, people book rides, get picked up, take the driver to another person who swaps with and kidnap the driver.
“We own our car, they do not repair it for us, therefore they have reduced the commission from 25 per cent to at least 5 per cent.”
According to the drivers, there is a need to increase the fares of rides from N12 to N15 per minute amongst other things.