New demands by the local management of UBER in Kenya appear to have triggered a walkout, and it has been suggested that a prohibition order on arbitration was the main point of contention, combined with attempts to shift the legal setting from Kenya to Holland.
Reports from Nairobi suggest that the present phase of negotiations between taxi hailing giant UBER and their Kenyan drivers have come to naught when representatives of the drivers walked away from the talks.
UBER managers in Kenya got rattled by a series of walkouts by drivers who have demanded better fares after the company, in the face of strong competition by the likes of Little Rides – backed by Kenya’s leading telecom company Safaricom – dropped fares to stay in business, but literally putting their drivers out of business with fast diminishing returns for their investment in cars.
The result will very likely be further walkouts by drivers amid more reports that a growing number is walking away from UBER and either joining other organizations of the same kind or else returning to become independent operators.
UBER has been under siege in the global arena over negative comments made and recorded by UBER CEO Kalanick and an emerging scandal within the company’s headquarters. Sexual harassment allegations, shareholder troubles, and claims of technology theft came hot on the heels of massive financial losses last year, only making matters for the company worse. Links by Kalanick to the Trump administration also cost the company dearly after over 200,000 UBER users in the US deleted their application link earlier in the year in a rare form of political mass protests again against Kalanick.
Global pundits are already talking of UBER unraveling, and by the look of it, only the arrogance and impunity of their top bosses is to blame for that.
What the immediate future for UBER in Kenya will hold remains to be seen.