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Sharjah Taxi Drivers Protest Against New Policy
As new reports emerge of the staged protests by Sharjah Taxi Drivers, Kipp takes a closer look at some of the contentious facts surrounding the case.
November 3, 2010 4:19 by Eva Fernandes
Sometimes they may be grumpy, rude, and even bad drivers, but you can’t deny that taxi drivers in the UAE have a pretty rough deal. Feeling for their complaints of unreachable target rates, Kipp’s sympathies have been with the plight of taxi drivers for quite a while.
Our sympathies were heightened yesterday when we read about the recent protests staged by the Sharjah taxi drivers against a new policy that sees them paying for every kilometer they drive. But the specifics escape Kipp because of the different versions of the protest reported in the local media. According to Gulf News, 300, then later in the day 1000, taxi drivers protested against their companies’ policy of charging them for every kilometer they drive. Although The National reports there to have been 800 drivers protesting, Emirates 24/7 claim there were 5,000 taxi drivers protesting.
The reasons for the protests also seem differ: Gulf News and The National report that the taxi drivers came to protest against a new policy which required taxi drivers to pay 52 fils (that’s Gulf News’s number; the National claims the fee is a tenth of this, 0.52 fils) for every kilometer travelled, and Emirates 24/7 claims a 22 percent hike in targets to be the culprit.
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