Kenya's Uber strike turns ugly as drivers pour oil on co-workers and car seats

A section of Uber drivers have resorted to pouring oil on their colleagues cars who have continued operating despite their strike.

 

Pictures going rounds on social media since yesterday showed defiant Uber drivers showered in oil from head to toe while other showed passenger seats soaked in oil to discourage passengers from boarding the taxis.

The drivers also vandalized the vehicles to stop them from accepting orders for rides, bringing their businesses to a ground halt.

The embattled taxi-hailing company was on Friday forced to vacate its Nairobi offices in what has been linked to failure to contain last week's strike by its drivers.

Uber has continued to vehemently deny the allegations though.

Last July Uber slashed its prices by half in a move aimed to encourage more riders to use the platform.

The government on Monday waded into the ongoing conflict to try and bring things back to normalcy by asking the San-Francisco based company to increase taxi fares in order for Kenyan drivers to earn some revenue as well.

“The government would like to assure all stakeholders, including the Uber customers that it has seriously considered their concerns and adequate measures will be mobilized to ensure an amicable solution and result is achieved,” Transport Principal Secretary, Irungu Nyakera in a statement sent to newsrooms said

The video going rounds of Kalanick, a co-founder of the company caught on camera arguing with a uber driver who tells him that rates have been cut and he has lost money will certainly not help.

In the video, the driver in a dash cam tells Kalanick, a passenger, that "people are not trusting you anymore," and complains that rates for drivers have fallen however the 40-year-old Kalanick responds angrily that some people don't take responsibility for their own actions.

The video is the latest in a series of challenges and embarrassments for the ride service. Last week, Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit Waymo sued Uber for allegedly stealing designs related to autonomous vehicles, a claim that Uber has denied.

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