Drivers working for Uber, Little, Taxify and Mondo began an indefinite strike on 11 September over their income and terms of service. Some drivers have up to four phones as they are working for different online cab operators and do not have contracts with any.
PUTON, which represents matatu drivers, believes the promotion of unity between the three associations which represent the drivers – the Digital Taxi Association of Kenya, the Kenya Online Transport Association and the United Online Cabs Association – will give them stronger opportunities to win a better deal for their members.
As a result of PUTON’s approaches, the three associations have agreed to visit the ITF’s Nairobi office on 26 September to explore co-operation with the union.
At a meeting with PUTON and the online taxi operators on 18 September, the deputy governor of Nairobi agreed to bring all taxi app companies together as long as it could be done in line with the competitions act, and promised a follow-up meeting on 29 September.
PUTON chairman Joseph Ndiritu said: “It was clear from the meeting that Nairobi is moving towards bus rapid transit, taxis and light rail. This gives us a real opportunity to improve transport workers’ conditions and closer collaboration with the taxi app workers’ associations will be crucial to achieving this.”
ITF Africa deputy regional secretary Anna Karume commented that PUTON’s efforts were helping the associations realise that collaboration would create greater power and access through the union to the ITF family.