Uber drivers’ strike in Qatar

Hundreds of Uber drivers in Qatar have gone on strike on Monday for the second time in a year, to protest against price cuts, Reuters reported.

The US-based company which began working in Doha in 2014 decided in the past few months to reduce the fare price by 15 to 20 percent amid growing competition from local companies.

Uber drivers also protest an “upfront” service launched by Uber in November that allows passengers to view the total fare before their journey.

John, an Ethiopian driver who declined to give his second name said “The upfront isn’t fair. If you get stuck in traffic or the passenger makes extra stops during the journey, we receive nothing for that”.

“If they don’t raise fares and treat drivers better we have many other platforms we can go to. I have a family to support,” he said.

Uber is trying to reduce its fares to compete with other local companies Qatar like Careem, which has a larger market share than Uber in most of the 32 cities in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region in which it operates.

An Uber company spokesman in Dubai said the company is “committed to dialogue with partner drivers” and had made improving their experience a priority.

Some drivers say they have struggled since oil prices dropped in mid-2014 which led to reducing state finances and to raise the domestic price of gasoline by 30 percent.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

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