Drivers on the ride-hailing platforms, Uber and Bolt have formed a union that would help them speak with one voice in Nigeria.
The Federal Government has registered the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria as a trade union.
This union gives the drivers on ride-hailing platforms the voice to speak and it’s geared towards improving their welfare.
“I am directed to refer to your application letter dated 27th April 2021, written pursuant to Section 3 of the Trade Unions Act, CAP. T14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014, addressed to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment for the Registration of the above-named organization as a trade union.
“I am further directed to inform you that after extensive consideration of your application, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment has approved the registration of your organization as a trade union with rights and privileges as stipulated by the Trade Unions Act, cited above.” the approval letter reads.
The letter, which was seen by Gadgets Africa, is from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department and is addressed to the AUATWN.
Speaking about the successful registration by the federal government, Comrade Ayoade went down memory lane stating that the move to unionize app-based drivers started in 2016. He said they were moved to have a union when Uber slashed the income of drivers to 40% without any prior notification.
“We operate in the informal sector of the economy; therefore we need protection from the app-based companies. They use our expertise to make money for themselves without consulting us during important decision-making. But with a government-approved union like AUATWN, all that will stop. We can now negotiate with them to recognize what we’re passing through when we carry out our duties,” Ayodele said and encouraged drivers across the country to join the union as they push for their welfare.
The Secretary-General of AUATWN also disclosed that the union is an amalgamation of three existing unions. The three amalgamated blocks included the National Union of Professional App-based Transport Workers (NUPA-BTW), the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association of Nigeria (PEDPAN), and the National Coalition of Ride-Sharing Partners (NACORP). They came together to become one in the fight for their welfare.
With the dictates of the Trade Unions Act, the AUATWN is empowered by law to speak about the terms and conditions of drivers working in any app-based transportation company and their working conditions.