Why are drivers protesting?
In Mahiliou, taxi drivers hired by the Russian aggregator Yandex.Taxi went on strike. They claim that no one will come to work in the next three days. The strike is called a protest: in this way they try to force the employer to increase tariffs. Minsk taxi drivers of Yandex.Taxi are also dissatisfied with working conditions. They also staged a protest, Radio Svaboda reports.
The Russian Yandex.Taxi service has been operating in Belarus since February 2016.
What taxi drivers are seeking:
Raising tariffs by at least one and a half times;
Reviewing working conditions;
Establishing a direct relationship with the employer;
The Russian company to respond to the protest.
Taxi drivers about current tariffs
On November 17, in the parking lot of one of the largest E-City shopping centers in Mahiliou, more than 60 taxi drivers gathered to announce the start of a protest rally. According to them, this is not the first attempt to attract the employer's attention to working conditions. They wrote about the previous protest gatherings on social networks.
According to protesters, in Mahiliou, the wages of taxi drivers are one of the lowest in Belarus. The first three kilometers of the trip cost the passenger 2 rubles, for each next kilometer they pay 35 kapeykas. In other regional centers, a kilometer costs 55-60 kapeykas.
Mahiliou taxi drivers insist: to earn more than 500 rubles in a month, they need to complete 40 orders in a day. Then the employer guarantees the payment of a daily bonus of 160 rubles before tax. According to their experience, it is unrealistic to fulfill such a norm in 8 hours, so many work for 12-16 hours. For a month, 600 rubles come out. 15-20 percent of the earned Yandex takes to itself.
“If four people ride a taxi,” protesters explain the arithmetic of the tariff, “then the trip is cheaper for them than in public transport. One ticket in it - 55 kapeykas. For the same 2 kilometers, passengers would pay the bus fleet 2.2 rubles.”
What do taxi drivers offer to the employer
Protesters offer to increase tariffs by 1.5 times. They believe that for the first 4 kilometers a passenger should pay 3 rubles. Then - 60 kapeykas for each subsequent kilometer.
Taxi drivers cannot convey their position to the employer, because they do not have a direct relationship with him. According to them, there is no dispatch service in the city where you could complain.
“We can only write to the support service,” they say, “but from there they send a formal reply under a template: “We are monitoring the situation” and “Partnership must be honest.”
Mahiliou protesters: Yandex is afraid of drivers association
The Yandex aggregator appeared in Mahiliou on May 28, 2018. According to the interlocutors, it’s easy to get a job at this company. It is enough to send a driver’s license and registration certificate to a specific number on Viber. After that, a link will come to the code of a special mobile application. After downloading it, you can become a taxi-driver.
Protesters say that about 300 people regularly work under the Yandex.Taxi brand in the city. About 1 thousand are registered. A lot of drivers come to the line after the main work to earn extra money.
Taxi drivers explain that many of their colleagues left Mahiliou for other cities during the protest and tax there.
Some of the protesters believe that Yandex is afraid of the drivers association. According to them, “until 90 percent of taxi drivers leave, the employer will not feel the problem.”
Taxi drivers protest in Minsk as well
Minsk taxi drivers from Yandex protest against low tariffs. They expressed dissatisfaction on November 16 in the parking lot of the Korona hypermarket. In the capital, a passenger pays 30 kapeykas per kilometer.
Like their colleagues from Mahiliou, Minskers complain that there is no direct connection with the employer. They hope that their protest will draw the attention of the company to the problem, and that a compromise will be found with tariffs.
Mahiliou taxi drivers insist: if their three-day protest yields no results, then they will do such actions regularly during the hours of the greatest influx of passengers. They assume that most drivers will leave Yandex, as no one will work at “low rates”.
What does Yandex say?
Radio Svaboda contacted the press service of Yandex to find out the position of the company's management regarding the protest of the Mahiliou and Minsk taxi drivers. The letter had three questions:
Does the service management know about taxi drivers protests in Mahiliou and Minsk?
Are their requirements to increase tariffs justified?
Is there a direct connection with taxi drivers?
Olga Demyanuk, the head of the press service of the Russian company, said that Yandex.Taxi is operating normally in the country.
“The number of trips is growing rapidly, the number of drivers on the line is increasing. Partner taxis also work as usual. We are constantly in touch with them and always, in working order, discuss issues related to the operation of the service,” her response says.