Careem And Uber Drivers Protest Against New Tax

Uber and Careem showed a protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club against their management

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Number of people associated with two ride-hailing companies — Uber and Careem — staged a protest on Monday outside the Karachi Press Club against their administration for purportedly decreasing their share, abusing their working hours and deducting a specific rate for the sake of tax.

Holding placards and chanting mottos, the dissidents requested government intercession saying they dreaded most of them would lose their jobs.

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The protest campaign, they stated, was in progress for very nearly a month when a group of drivers — otherwise called captains — persuaded others to speak more loudly against what they called misuse and unlawful measures by the ride-hailing organizations.

“It is so unfortunate that these companies gave attractive offers when they needed our tireless efforts to build their brand,” a protester who identified himself as Rashid Khan told media. “For two consecutive years we did everything to make Careem a brand.”

“We didn’t care about ourselves or our families. We knew only one thing that this is a new trend in Pakistan, which was welcomed both by the people and those associated with it like us and it should become a success story. But it became a success story and now the company decided to violate laws, suppress workers to earn more.”

A spokesperson for Careem, however, denied the charges and said that they were complaining without understanding the rules and regulations set by the company on the very first day.

“The tax was imposed by the Sindh government and not by the company,” said the spokesperson. “We held a number of rounds of talks with the authorities to convince them to withdraw [the tax] but they didn’t agree. We however succeeded in bringing it down to five per cent from the initially proposed 13pc. Similarly, the company never compromises on principles and one of them is the satisfaction of customers or rides. We block IDs only after receiving frequent complaints.”

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