Bolt’s recent launch of a driver engagement hub in Lekki, Lagos, has faced strong opposition from cab-hailing drivers in the area. Drivers argue that the initiative is an attempt by the ride-hailing company to further fragment and deal with drivers individually, contradicting the spirit of collective bargaining.
Bolt established the driver engagement hub in Lagos to enhance the experience of its driver-partners in the region. According to Bolt Nigeria Country Manager, Yahaya Mohammed, the hub is designed to improve driver support, communication channels, training opportunities, community building, issue resolution, driver appreciation, and positive branding.
In response to this move, drivers expressed their concerns about the company’s intention to engage with drivers on an individual basis, rather than through a collective approach. They emphasized the importance of collective bargaining as the central issue, urging Bolt to work with their union to address drivers’ concerns.
One driver, Emmanuel, highlighted the need for ride-hailing apps like Bolt to allow collective bargaining with drivers. He expressed frustration with Bolt’s focus on individual engagement and questioned why the company has not responded to letters from the driver’s union.
Comrade Ibrahim Ayoade, Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON), shared similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of Bolt recognizing the union and the benefits of engaging in dialogue.
Do the latest Bolt initiatives aim to create divisions and establish dominance?
Bolt has recently introduced several initiatives aimed at supporting drivers on its platform, including an accelerator program, prize campaigns, and a 10% commission offer with specific conditions. Drivers have raised concerns about the 10% commission and the conditions associated with it.
In light of these developments, drivers believe that e-hailing drivers should unite and collectively address their issues to ensure the sustainability of their business.
They suggest proactively involving the government in regulating the sector, as the app companies’ influence on the government often results in delays in addressing drivers’ concerns.
They stress the importance of the government’s involvement in regulating the industry and ensuring that labor laws are upheld.
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