Taxi drivers appear in court to resolve dispute over pay cuts
Abu Dhabi // The labour court will today consider the case of hundreds of taxi drivers who say they stand to lose much of their income under a new contract imposed by their employer.
The court agreed to hear the Tawasul drivers' case yesterday after the drivers turned up in force at its premises. It was a day after a similar protest at the company's Mina headquarters.
The drivers say they want a judge to resolve the deadlock that has left them without vehicles, and facing financial difficulties at the end of the month.
They insisted that they should be able to continue with their previous deal, but Tawasul said it would not provide them with vehicles until they signed new agreements.
Nabin Kumar Kuwar, from Nepal, said the new contract would cut his income by almost a quarter. Based on the Dh10,000 a month that he typically collects in fares from working 16-hour days, he would be paid Dh2,100 under the new contract, compared with Dh2,700 before.
"All the company is concerned with is money and they don't care about the drivers," he said.
Although the exact terms vary between categories of driver, the drops are similar - around a quarter on a typical monthly take, they claimed.
The company said it would sack drivers who refused to sign the new contract, and has already started to follow through with that threat.
Abdullah Kassab, Tawasul's general manager, arrived at the company's labour camp on Saturday with five termination letters, including one for Fazal Dar, who will be representing Pakistani drivers in court today.
"They are just trying intimidate us, so that we submit to the new terms," he said. "Which we won't."
Updated: January 4, 2011 04:00 AM