Taxi drivers belonging to Car Taxi gather outside the Ministry of Labour in Abu Dhabi to protest against the company’s move to change their work contracts. Image Credit: Alex Westcott/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Drivers of Cars Taxi company in Abu Dhabi halted work for the second day in a row yesterday, protesting against an alleged move by the company to enforce a new job contract.

Negotiations between the company and the drivers were continuing in the presence of government representatives until press time.

The drivers alleged that the company was forcing them to sign a new contract which offered less commission rates although most of their contracts were still valid. The drivers said the new contract would reduce their monthly income by almost 50 per cent, but the Cars Taxi refuted it, saying the recent hike in taxi fares would compensate for the reduced commission rate.

Meanwhile, TransAD, the taxi regulatory authority in the emirate, yesterday said it would stand firm behind the requirement that all drivers under limited contract sign new employment contracts.


"The new contract for Cars Taxi has been approved by TransAD and it is reasonable in our estimation," Masoud Mohammad Hashim, acting general manager of TransAD told Gulf News yesterday.

"Every driver under an unlimited contract will have to abide by the new commission structure at Cars Taxi [under the new contract], and will also be required to move to the labourer accommodation at workers residential city in Mussaffah," Hashim said.

He added that drivers with limited contracts would retain their present arrangements until their contracts will be up for renewal.

"If a driver does not approve of the contract and is not happy with it, he may choose to end his employment and leave. Given the recent taxi fare increase, increases in the price of fuel and the higher cost of accommodation for the drivers, we have determined that the new commission rates requested by Cars Taxi are actually reasonable," he said.