Accept our collective agreement, App-based drivers urge Lagos Govt

Accept our collective agreement, App-based drivers urge Lagos Govt
Accept our collective agreement, app-based drivers urge lagos govtThe Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON) has urged the Lagos State government to accept and adopt its Collective Agreement for Platform Workers in Nigeria.
Kolawole Aina, the South-West zonal chairman of AUATON, said in an interview on Sunday in Lagos that the union made the collective agreement to ensure that its members would be regulated and have their welfare well taken care of.

AUATON is a registered trade union under the Ministry of Labour and Employment and an affiliate member of the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Its members include e-hailing or online transport drivers, app-based bike and bicycle food delivery and courier delivery workers (dispatch), app-based bike passenger workers, and app-based bus passenger workers in the online sub-sector of Nigeria’s transport industry.

E-hailing drivers call for regulation of industry

“As a union, we saw the problems, created solutions and presented the solutions to government. It was accepted by the federal ministries of transport and labour, but the Lagos State government did not give us a listening ear.

“The document, which we call the collective agreement, is about how the government, app-based companies, drivers, and riders can have a fair share of responsibilities in the industry.

“It will be a system where each ride can be monitored by all the four communities, and each community can mutually benefit,” he said.

According to the AUATON executive, before the creation of the union in 2023, there had been a series of agitations among various groups of drivers, with many app-based companies alleging maltreatment.

He recalled a conference held in Lagos with attendees from Oyo, Abuja and Ondo, stating that the Collective Agreement addressed insecurity, insurance and the app-based companies’ policies.

“The issues of insurance and security have become very important. I cannot remember the number of drivers that have died on the job this year alone or lost properties to their customers or riders,” Aina said.

He regretted that the association’s deputy president died of fatigue inside his car this year, also noting that “Criminally-minded customers, sometimes, order rides, and during the ride, they kill the driver and steal the car and sell it.”

“This is where insurance comes in. All trips will be insured; the driver, riders, property in the cars and the car itself will be insured,” said Mr Aina.

Mr Aina said the agreement also addressed low pricing, high commission, and the activation and deactivation of drivers at will by app-based companies.

He decried algorithm management instead of human management in app-based companies, saying that machines are making decisions that humans should make.

“The policies of app-based companies can sometimes be rather harsh,” the union leader said.

The union leader urged the Lagos State government and app-based companies to partner with it to ensure the welfare of its members.

He said any government regulation in the industry could only work if the union were properly carried along and therefore sign the Collective Agreement.