5 years ago

Uber drivers in Bangladesh go on 24-hour strike protesting ‘irregularities’

Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

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Two groups of Uber drivers have announced a 24-hour strike from Sunday midnight to press home their eight-point charter of demand.

Dhaka Ridesharing Drivers Union and Bangladesh Ridesharing Drivers Association called the strike on Sunday to protest against “different irregularities”.

Cars and motorcycles that share rides using the Uber app will be under the strike coverage, the Association’s General Secretary Shuvo Ahmed said.

“We urge the drivers to express solidarity with the demands,” he said.

The organisations have been raising the demands for six months, according to Shuvo.

“These are demands of all Uber drivers of Dhaka,” he added.

Shuvo also threatened fresh programmes if the demands went unmet, reports bdnews24.

The demands are:

  • Fixing fare per kilometre and minute from start to end of every trip.
  • Reducing Uber’s commission to 12 percent from 25 percent. 
  • Raising fare due to a hike in gas prices.
  • Arranging trips near destinations under the ‘Destination’ option in the app.
  • Ensuring security of the drivers. Arranging compensation if passengers cause damage to vehicles.
  • Taking no action against the drivers without investigating passenger complaints.
  • Making it compulsory for passengers to provide own image in their Uber accounts.
  • Arranging initial training for passengers on location. Putting a ceiling of two kilometres on maximum distance between the drivers and passengers.

The Union’s General Secretary Belal Ahmed said they had discussed the issues several times but there has been no solutions forthcoming.

They went to Uber’s office in Dhaka’s Uttara twice and staged human-chain demonstrations outside the office and the National Press Club, he said.

“The officials there said they have nothing to do as all of their decisions come from India,” Belal said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Uber office in Dhaka issued a statement in this regard:

"We regret the disruption caused to the rider and driver-partner community, due to a small group of individuals. We strive to provide reliable and safe transport options to get around the city and hope to minimize any distress caused. We are committed to providing reliable, convenient and safe transport options to our riders, while providing access to flexible income opportunities for our driver partners. We always prioritize the well being of our driver-partners and have processes in place to address concerns and issues through our Partner Sheba Kendras and in-App feedback.”

Launched in 2016, Uber gained popularity fast in Dhaka, the city of traffic congestions and transport chaos.   

Pathao, OBHAI, Pickme, SAM, Shohoz and some other ridesharing firms are also operating in Bangladesh.

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