Uber has asked Kenya’s Supreme Court to allow an out-of-court settlement in a dispute that has caused a stand-off with a group of drivers.
In 2016, drivers operating on the platform filed a case accusing the ride-hailing company of slashing fares by 50%, subsequently reducing their take-home commission. The drivers argued that the company acted in breach of contract and threatened their earnings. Uber, on the other hand, maintained that they reserved the right.
Uber has now asked the court to allow arbitration as stipulated in the contract with the drivers. The arbitration clause, according to Uber, clearly spells out how disputes between parties should be settled. The company wants the drivers to exhaust all such channels.
“The plaintiffs (drivers) have filed the instant suit in complete disregard of the said Arbitration Clause, and it is highly improper for the plaintiffs to have instituted the instant proceeding in contravention of the agreements. There being a dispute between the parties, the same ought to be referred to arbitration,” Uber’s legal team stated.
Uber was among the early entrants into the Kenyan market and signed up hoards of drivers initially. However, as competitors such as Bolt gained a grip in the market, the company sought ways of remaining afloat, and commission cuts for drivers were a quick option.
The company was recently forced to suspend operations in Tanzania following the introduction of a 15% fee by the government.