Bolt minicab drivers to protest 'unjust' working conditions

Members of the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are today staging a protest demonstration against the minicab app Bolt from 12pm at the firm’s head office in Shoreditch.

According to representatives, drivers are demanding an increase in fares, an end to unfair dismissals, an end to algorithmic manipulation through fake surge pricing, and that Bolt recognise drivers' worker rights.

The IWGB is appealing for public support for striking drivers and asking customers to not cross the digital picket line and not use the app between 12pm to 5pm today.

Drivers are demanding:

  • An increase in fares to £2 per mile (currently £1.25 in London)

  • An end to unfair dismissals

  • An end to algorithmic manipulation by way of fake, bait and switch surge pricing whereby inflated prices are displayed in the app to encourage drivers to move to certain geographic locations but then jobs are offered only at standard rates which drivers are obliged to accept or risk dismissal.  

  • Bolt immediately obey UK law and respect worker rights including the payment of at least the minimum wage and paid holidays

James Farrar, Chair of UPHD branch, said: "Bolt arrived in the UK earlier this year claiming to the ethical alternative to Uber but the honeymoon has been short lived with now easily matching Uber for ruthlessness in exploitation of precarious workers.  Bolt management have been deaf to driver issues of pay, conditions and a rash of unfair, summary dismissals dismissals. But the practice of management manipulation through algorithmic bait and switch pricing has been the last straw pushing drivers to now take action."

Mohammad Onupom Rahman, former Bolt driver and Secretary of UPHD's London branch, said: "Bolt treats drivers with utter disregard. I worked for Bolt but was unfairly deactivated without any investigation, appeal or chance to see evidence of any allegations against me. It's high time Bolt made moves to live up to its claim to be an ethical cab company. It should start by respecting the worker rights of drivers such as myself. Until that time, drivers won't be afraid to show Bolt's dirty side to the world."

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