Cabbies’ woes to be looked into

SHARJAH — Sharjah Transport will review the 52 fils deduction rule by the end of this month and the taxi fleet may be reduced to maintain the balance, according to a senior official.

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Published: Sat 27 Nov 2010, 12:26 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:11 PM

“All parties involved — passengers, franchise companies and cabbies — need to wait till the end of this month so that we can assess the efficiency of the rule,” Director General of Sharjah Transport, Abdullah Al Zari said in a programme in Noor Dubai radio station on Thursday.

Hundreds of cabbies stopped working and submitted their resignation since the beginning of this month when a new cut was imposed on their daily revenues equivalent to 52 fils per kilometre while the meter.

The situation climaxed on Wednesday following a one-hour meeting between the labour ministry officials in Sharjah and the representatives of the firms, who had been given a grace period until November24 to review or revoke the rule, but to no avail. The rule was upheld and cabbies were told to take or leave it.

Zari said if the rule proved to be harmful to the cabbies based on sound grounds, it would be reviewed. “If the franchise companies are badly affected, this means the cabbies themselves will suffer, and the companies cannot provide a proper service, however.”

Indicating that the rule was introduced following two petrol price hikes in a few months, Zari explained that a restructuring of taxi fares became necessary to cover operation costs.

“A cab ride from area A to B now costs a regular passenger Dh17 instead of Dh12; Dh5 more, following the Dh10 minimum taxi fare. Likewise, did the cabbie’s commission which needed to be revised,” he said. Explaining further, Zari said the driver who is eligible for 35 per cent is now collecting Dh400 extra without extra effort. “Therefore, the 52 Fils per kilometer deduction sounds reasonable from this point.”

Zari stressed that Sharjah Transport is keen on maintaining a balance among the three parties involved: the passenger, the franchise company and the cabbie. “However, Sharjah Transport is studying the impact of the 52 Fils deduction rule on the cabbies’ commissions and alternative options may be considered. The taxi fleet, for example, may be reduced to keep the balance required,” he said. Sharjah Transport, in a statement released on Wednesday, said that the relationship between cabbies and franchise companies is governed by the labour law. “All parties’ rights and duties are guaranteed,” it said, noting that the additional terms agreed upon between the cabbies and their companies are also applicable in view of law. “However, a cabbie is entitled to approach the labour ministry in case of breach of employment contract.

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