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Drivers threaten to shut down Uber and Taxify

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Uber and Taxify drivers have threatened to shut down the ride e-hailing services should their demands not be addressed.

They marched to Uber offices in Krammerville in Johannesburg on Tuesday and handed over a memorandum of demands.

They gave both companies 48 hours to respond to their demands.

Among some of their demands is for the 25% commission which they claim Uber receives, to be reduced to 15%.

Taxify on the other hand, claims its drivers receive between 13 to 20% and that they even increased fares recently in response to the fuel price hike.

Spokesperson for the drivers Vhathuka Mbelengwa says thus far they have not received any official response. ”

Uber has put out press releases about offering driver incentives and fuel top up incentives. These are solutions we have assessed and feel they lack impact in what we are trying to accomplish. We want real solutions. We want our demands met.”

The post Drivers threaten to shut down Uber and Taxify appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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Uber returns to Finnish roads after taxi market deregulation

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Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] will re-start its ride-hailing business in Finland on Wednesday after a one-year pause, it said, seeking to benefit from the country’s transport law reform.

The US company has come under pressure from traditional taxi drivers and regulators across Europe, who accuse it of unfair competition and skirting traditional licensing rules.

In Finland, Uber was deemed legal provided its drivers held valid taxi licenses, but the company has been the target of police investigations and drivers have been ordered to give up their earnings to the state for not having valid permits.

An overhaul of transport legislation came into force on 1 July , removing a cap on the number of taxi licenses the government issues in a year and fare restrictions, while creating a legal framework for apps such as Uber.

The company will relaunch its uberX and UberBLACK services on Wednesday afternoon in the wider capital region, including Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

“Drivers who have been fully licensed under the new regulations will now be able to help hundreds of thousands of Finns get around at the touch of a button,” Uber Nordics general manager Joel Jarvinen said in a statement.

“We hope that other countries, where local people are not currently able to use apps like Uber either to get around or to make money on their terms, will soon follow suit.”

Jarvinen said more than a quarter million people in the Helsinki area have opened the Uber app since August even though the company was not operating.

The post Uber returns to Finnish roads after taxi market deregulation appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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Uber, Taxify drivers vow to continue strike action

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Uber/Taxify drivers say they will not be deterred from highlighting their plight. This after they found Uber offices closed as they attempted to deliver a memorandum of grievances in Garsfontein in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon.

Scores of drivers have shut down their operations nationally.

They’re demanding that the mother company, E-hailing, increase their fare price due to fuel hikes that are killing their profits.

One of the march organisers, Chris Ravhuhali, says their members are being ill treated and intimidated by rival operators.

Ravhuhali says they’ve so far lost seven members in violent attacks.

“These are the issues that we’ve been engaging with the mother body and government. The justice system has been so reluctant, ignorant and arrogant towards what we’ve been saying to them. We’ve lost seven lives, and the is not a single case where a breakthrough was made.”

“No single arrest and no feedback as to how far they are with the investigations,” adds Ravhuhali.

 

The post Uber, Taxify drivers vow to continue strike action appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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Uber, Taxify drivers remain on strike

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Striking drivers of the e-hailing taxi services Uber and Taxify have threatened to remain on strike until their demands are met. However, they did not proceed to Taxify’s offices in Bryanston after handing over a memorandum of demands to Uber management in Krammerville near Sandton.

They have given Uber until Thursday to respond to their demands. They want the 25 percent commission received by the company to be immediately reduced to 15 percent.

They are also demanding better rates in light of fuel hikes and that the two companies stop training more drivers and putting more cars on the road, saying they are even struggling to make a profit because the market is too congested.

Non-striking Uber and Taxify drivers were pulled over and forced to join the protest by their striking colleagues at various locations such as OR Tambo and Lanseria airports, as well at a number of Gautrain stations.

The situation was no different at Zoo Lake where hundreds of drivers gathered on Tuesday morning before making their way to Uber’s offices in Krammaville near Sandton. However, they were made to wait for about three hours, with management unwilling to engage them.

“Uber is a very arrogant organisation. Uber was forced by the SAPS to send management to come receive the memorandum. They were highly unwilling; they come out to receive it under duress. They call us partners but they’re so afraid to engage with their so-called partners. So it goes to show that there’s not partnership here, it’s just on-going exploitation. And they feel no need to justify their actions to us,” says Spokesperson for the drivers Vhatuka Mbelengwa.

When Uber Representative Deon du Toit eventually came out to meet them, he had very little to say. “I accept this on behalf of Uber, it will reach Uber management within minutes of me receiving it. I’m going to sign this with your representatives. And we’re ready to do this.”

The drivers were not pleased, as they called on Uber to immediately shut down the online taxi app. Mbelengwa says they expect feedback from Uber by Thursday. “We have given them a maximum of 48 hours to respond to us, failure to do so, we will reconvene here. Failure to do so, we’re going to be offline; we’re going to continue to mobilise drivers. And engage with drivers in different areas who may not be aware of what’s happening; make them aware so we can correctly encourage them to stay offline.”

The march was also supposed to proceed to Taxify’s offices in Bryantson. “We sent out a team to the Taxify offices and there was absolutely nobody there. They had completely absconded. They had abdicated responsibility of engaging with us. So we saw it fit not to proceed forth to Taxify. We’ll re-strategize, and at a date sooner rather than later, we’ll go to Taxify,” says Mbelengwa.

However, Taxify’s country Manager Gareth Taylor says they have been engaging with drivers and are already addressing some of their concerns. “At Taxify we take a 15 percent commission. Drivers on Taxify earn typically 13 to 20-percent more than drivers on other e-hailing platforms. We increased the fares couple of weeks back in response to the petrol price being increased. With regards to safety, we’ve introduced the Lamola integration that has increased our partnership in the relationship that we have with the police and we’re in a better position to collaborate with the police on when and where things are happening. Coming out in the coming weeks will also be armed response.” Click below for more on the story: 

The post Uber, Taxify drivers remain on strike appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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