The Ghana Online Drivers Union have served notice that they will boycott foreign ride-hailing apps in two months, if their demands for better working conditions and improved wages are not met.

The drivers said the cost of driving around has nearly doubled whereas their profits continue to dwindle.

They are also asking the companies to reduce their service charges to 15 percent, else they will defect to locally-based companies.

President of the Ghana Online Drivers Association, Francis Tengey has been sharing the frustrations of the drivers with JoyNews.

“Initially, Uber was 25 percent, this year they have reduced it to 20 percent and Bolt is also supposed to reduce it from 25 percent to 20 percent, but we want 15 percent.

“We have been demonstrating, gone on strikes, we have written petitions and nothing has been done so this year, we have decided if nothing is being done, then our alternative is to boycott the app. The alternative is to look for a local app and local app that is ready to listen to us,” he told JoyNews.

The Group also wants the government to step in to regulate policies of the ride-hailing apps.

“We are also calling on the government to come and regulate the system. You cannot just leave the system for anybody. As we speak, Uber is using US policies in Ghana, Bolt is doing same using European transport policies, Yango is using Russian. Is it possible? And so we are waiting if by end of June we don’t hear anything, we give two months and boycott,” he added.

According to some drivers of ride-hailing apps, the increasing fuel prices have added to their already poor working conditions.

“Fuel was somewhere GH₵7.00, but now it is almost GH₵10.00. At first when I buy fuel like 100 cedis, I am able to work like 250-300 cedis but now, if you buy like 150 if you don’t take care, you can’t even work like 300 cedis which is making the work very difficult,” one driver said.

“Say you buy fuel of about 100 cedis, you make about 200 cedis. That 200 cedis if you take out your 100 cedis which you spent on fuel, you are only left with 100 cedis so you give 25 percent to the service provider which is either bolt or uber and also the 25 percent for yourself, so when you have a damage to your car and you want to service your car and all that, it is out of this 25 percent that you have and it is quite stressful,” another driver told JoyNews.

Drivers of ride-hailing services in April served notice they would embark on a two-day national strike.

The drivers attribute their intended action to growing insecurity and attack on drivers as well as high service charges by the ride hailing companies.

In an interview with JoyNews, President of the Ghana Online Drivers Union, Francis Kweku Tengey, said the action will take place in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Eastern regions.

“The main reason we are striking is this: the 25% [of commission] from Bolt and Uber is too much; it should be slashed to 15 per cent.

“With an input or variable of fuel and data and then calls, at the end of the day, the driver is left with nothing,” he lamented.