Rideshare drivers protest in front of Parliament, ask for demands to be met

5. Razan
(Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — Hundreds of drivers who work for rideshare companies like Careem and Uber held a sit-in Tuesday in front of the Parliament, protesting the government’s disregard of demands they made over a year ago.اضافة اعلان

Drivers who spoke to Jordan News claimed that they submitted a set of demands to the Ministry of Transport and to the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) more than a year ago, but that they have not been addressed yet, despite promises they get every time they protest.

The demands include extending the operating life of their vehicles to 10 years, reducing the vehicle permit fees to JD200 annually, instead of JD400, and allowing drivers to renew their permits through LTRC directly, without having to refer back to their respective companies, Careem and Uber in this case.

Driver Mohammad Abu Meshref told Jordan News that “every time we ask to meet the minister of transport or the head of LTRC, they refuse both to meet us and to listen to our demands. If the situation stays at it is, we are going to stage more protests”.

He added that “we are considering escalating the issue, especially that every time we carry out a protest, we get false promises that our demands are going to be fulfilled, when actually nothing happens”.

Lawrence Rifai, a spokesman for the drivers, told Jordan News that they will be carrying out protests “as long as the ministry and LTRC do not keep their promises to us”.

He also said that drivers believe that having their demands addressed “is their basic right, especially in view of the hard economic situation everybody is facing due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Majdi Saafin, yet another driver, told Jordan News that the financial difficulties drivers have been facing for more than two years, including their inability to pay their dues and debts, drive them to insist on having their demands fulfilled “as soon as possible”.

He added that “most of the drivers are in debt, and can barely provide for their basic needs”, asking why the government takes the “decision to reduce the operating life of our vehicles, despite the fact that most of us have still not paid the installments on our vehicles so far”.

“Maybe if the circumstances were better, we would not have insisted on having our demands met, but the government should bear in mind that drivers have not worked for more than a year due to the lockdowns and restrictions resulting from the pandemic. This is why I can say that we are going to stage more protests until we see that our demands are truly met,” he stressed.

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