Bolt, Uber, inDrive may face heavy losses as e-hailing drivers union joins nationwide strike

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June 3, 2024
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2 min read
Bolt Uber

The news: 

  • The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON), the Nigerian ride-hailing drivers' union, has mandated its members to join the ongoing strike declared by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), which began today, Monday, June 3, 2024.
  • The directive was issued in a circular titled “Suspension of Services Nationwide,” signed by Comrade Adedamola Adeniran, AUATON President. 
  • The circular highlighted the importance of joining the strike action, describing it as a protest against unsavoury economic policies by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration. 

The union has called on all its branches in Nigeria to fully comply with the nationwide suspension of services in solidarity with the NLC. 

 “The NLC’s action is aimed at addressing critical issues affecting our workforce and ensuring that our collective voice is heard. By participating in this strike, we demonstrate our commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of our workers,” part of the AUATON circular read. 

The purpose of the NLC strike is to demand that the federal government implement the new minimum wage request, reverse electricity tariff hike, and abolish band categories for electricity usage.

In a chat with Technext, Comrade Ayoade Ibrahim, General Secretary of the union, confirmed that as an affiliate of the NLC, the AUATON's executives have unanimously agreed to join the strike. 

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Consequently, e-hailing drivers have been asked to log off their apps until NLC calls off the strike. 

“Our union, operating in the informal sector, stands to benefit significantly from this action, including increased ride orders from customers, improved CNG availability, reduced fuel prices, and more,” Ibrahim said in response to how the NLC strike would benefit its members. 

He argued that Nigeria's current economic challenges made it expedient for the AUATON to join the strike. 

This might pose a serious challenge for e-hailing companies like Bolt, Uber, and inDrive as they continue to face low turnout of riders and low revenue on their platforms amid the economic downturn. The situation is expected to worsen for these companies as the strike kicks off on June 3. 

For instance, a report from a month ago indicated that Bolt Nigeria had laid off 25 of its 45 for economic reasons. However, the company refuted the claim, saying it only had to discontinue its collaboration with some of its employees, because it was “updating and automating a considerable number of customer support and operational processes in Nigeria.”

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E-hailing companies are expected to lose hundreds of millions of naira, depending on how long the indefinite strike lasts. 

https://techpoint.africa/2023/12/12/bolt-nigeria-drivers-independent-contractors/ Due to a drivers strike in 2021 that saw about 10,000 drivers advocating for better welfare from the e-hailing platforms, Uber and Bolt reported losing over ₦100 million. If the past is anything to go by, the impact of the ongoing strike may hit these companies harder.


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