The Online Drivers Union of Ghana has kicked against the newly launched ‘Bolt Lite ride’ for passengers based in Accra.
Bolt Lite offers customers a 15% discount on all rides therefore, offering customers the opportunity to pay less for their trips. The affordable ride option was already in operation for passengers in Kumasi until the offer was rolled out for Accra-based passengers.
However, in an interview with Angel FM, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Online Drivers Union of Ghana, Mr. Tortbo Dzieezormo Wise, says they are unaware of the said promotion by the Bolt Company.
“Our drivers are constantly fighting with passengers over trip prices only for us to trace the problem to the discounts given to passengers. We are not aware of the promotion the company is giving to the passengers. We followed up as national union but Bolt says they have no business with any union,” he said.
Speaking further, the Union PRO said yesterday’s picketing at Bolt’s office was as a result of the promotion among other unfair treatment from Bolt to their drivers.
According to him, the promotion by the company is unfair to the drivers and is taking a toll on their profit margins. He explained that as drivers they are already losing monies due to the low charges they take. Citing an example, he said a journey from East Legon to Accra Mall costs about GHS20 if it is a taxi but Bolt charges lesser, GHS7. With the new promo, trips costing GHS8 are now reduced to GHS2.
“We the drivers spend a lot more money than the Bolt Company and yet when they offer discounts to passengers, Bolt delays payment to the drivers. Sometimes, they never pay back and when you complain, you are either blocked or taken off the system”, Mr. Dzieezormo lamented.
The union called on the media to speak on their behalf for government to step in and regulate the operations of Bolt, Uber and Yango.
Mr. Dzieezormo believes that without government intervention, these companies will repatriate all profits back to their respective nations leaving the indigenes [drivers] poor.
While advising Bolt drivers to remain calm, he said the union is scheduling a meeting with Bolt officials about the matter amidst other ‘digital slavery-like’ conditions they face as drivers.
“There is no security for drivers. When a passenger orders for a ride, they use strange and unidentifiable names like dangerous, sex me, gun etc. If a driver is robbed or killed, the passenger can’t be identified because Bolt doesn’t have details of the passengers”, he stated.