Sunday 29 November, 2020

Drivers say Uber move came as a surprise: We feel blindsided

Drivers say the move by Uber to pause its operations in T&T came as a total surprise.

On Tuesday, Uber announced its decision to pause its operations in this country, stating that there is a lack of a proper environment for innovation and technology to thrive in T&T.

It revealed that the app will close its services on Wednesday, May 30 at 11:59 AM.

In an interview with LoopTT, a representative of the Facebook group, Uber Drivers of Trinidad said the drivers feel blindsided as they were never consulted on the move.

“We feel blindsided and it comes as a total surprise.”

The representative explained that several drivers were called to a meeting on Tuesday.

He said it was anticipated that at that meeting they would discuss safety measures in light of the recent murder of Uber driver Christopher Mohammed in St. James.

However, the representative said instead the drivers received letters informing them of the decision by Uber to pause its operations in T&T, immediately following the meeting.

“An email was received by 20 drivers to meet at their offices on Ana Street, Woodbrook on Anna Street, Woodbrook today. They all expected to hear about the recent murder which occurred with our colleague Christopher Mohammed. Most of the drivers were blindsided at the meeting when it took a different tone as they were expecting to discuss safety and other issues. Immediately following the meeting an email was sent to all Uber driers indicating of the shutdown in operations,” the representative revealed.

He said several drivers specifically bought vehicles to work as Uber drivers.

“Of the two groups I belong to there are over 180 drivers registered as driver with Uber. There are many more that don’t belong to our groups. I know of three drivers recently purchasing cars with the view of working with Uber, Chris also did this,” he said.

The drivers believe Uber doesn’t care about their welfare.

“All drivers’ morale is low and there is a general feeling that the company doesn’t care about the welfare of the drivers,” the representative told LoopTT.

Shortly after the announcement by Uber, the Ministry of Works and Transport in a statement said Uber never submitted the required information to operate lawfully in T&T.

The Ministry said that it had asked the company to provide information on insurance coverage as well as its taxation structure but never received the information.

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