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Black Ride signs MOU with digital driver unions

BY: Faith Ayorkor Mensah
Representatives of the various digital driver unions after the signing of the MoU
Representatives of the various digital driver unions after the signing of the MoU

A local digital ride-hailing company, The Black Ride, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with various digital driver unions in the country to promote a safe and fair working environment for digital drivers.

The MOU is aimed at tailoring the Black Ride application to cater for the needs of drivers and enhance the security of both drivers and clients.

"This MOU will ensure Digital Drivers are treated fairly and creates an environment for both service providers and the black ride to engage in co-creating the ride-hailing economy that is safe and fair, representing the needs of its stakeholders putting an end to the many challenges identified in the Fairwork report plaguing the workers of the digital ride-hailing platforms in Ghana," the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gr8 Minds @ Work, Anthony Klah, said at the signing ceremony in Accra today (June 9, 2022).

Present at the ceremony were representatives from the National Alliance for Digital Driver Unions (NADDU), Ghana Online Drivers Union (GODU), Online Drivers Union - Ghana (ODUG) and Think Ahead.

Something to offer

Black Ride, Mr Klah said, emerged the fairest digital ride-hailing platform in the 2021 Fairwork- Ghana Report Ratings, with seven out of ten points, surpassing the foreign and popular ones.

That, he explained, proved that the platform, which was established in 2017 by Gr8 Minds @ Work, had something to offer to Ghanaians, which was better than what the foreign ones offered, which necessitated the alliance with the driver unions to identify the challenges and work towards addressing them.

Among the new provisions made, drivers would be given a fixed service charge per ride given, irrespective of the distance and the amount involved, as well as receive an estimated charge of the trip and the drop-off location of the client before starting the ride.

To enhance the security of drivers and passengers, clients would be given the option of entering their Ghana card numbers, when signing up unto the app. Clients who do so would show to drivers as verified clients while those who do not would appear as unverified clients.

Drivers would then decide to accept rides from unverified clients at odd hours of the day at their own risk.

The app also gave drivers the chance to do street picks and still receive price estimates. All the drivers have to do is to enter the phone number of the passenger for security purposes.

Fairwork

A co-investigator at Fairwork Ghana, Dr Joseph Budu, said the rating was done based on five key areas; fair contracts, representation, management, pay and conditions.

Ride-hailing companies, he said, were assessed on how understandable their contracts were and whether drivers had the opportunity to seek redress in any area and whether the companies recognised and worked with the digital driver unions.

The companies were also assessed on whether workers received at least a minimum wage, with an extra point given for living wage, he explained.

“At the end of the exercise, Black Ride emerged the top. This does not mean it is the best, it only means that it is the fairest company for 2021,” Dr Budu explained.

Appreciation

A representative from the German Cooperation, GIZ, Magdalena Wagner, congratulated Black Ride for providing a fair environment for workers in a relatively new industry.

She added that although the industry had a lot of opportunities, it also had so many challenges which needed to be addressed.