By Neil Halligan
Some cab drivers often work 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is to undertake a review of the current working conditions of taxi drivers in the city, where most are driving for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
The National reports that UAE Labour law stipulates that workers should work a maximum of eight hours a day and have at least one day off each week. Any hours over and above that should be classified as overtime, and earn each worker 25 percent extra on his or her basic pay.
Taxi drivers in Dubai, however, say they often work seven days a week, 12 hours day for 10 months a year and do not receive a salary or overtime payments, but are paid in commission.
“My shift starts at 4am and I go through until 4pm. I get tired but what can I do?” a Bangladeshi taxi driver told The National. “The company offers no help. Out of every AED500 [$136], AED100 is fuel and I get 35 percent of the rest.”
Dr Yousif Al Ali, chief executive of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, told The National that it was currently reviewing the drivers’ working conditions.
“The RTA is studying working conditions of taxi drivers from different aspects and considering the coordination with the applicable laws to ensure the working conditions of taxi drivers are enhanced,” he said.
“Each of the operating companies establishes its business model within the applicable rules and regulations. Taxi drivers work with their corresponding company under the labour contract.”
Drivers, who earn in the region of AED3,500 and AED4,000 a month, also incur any costs of fines and vehicle repairs following a collision if police find that they are at fault.
no wonder we observe manic / irate behavior on some of them.
they've become a danger to themselves and to the public because of these grueling working conditions.
RTA policy makers should try to live out the working conditions of a taxi driver for at least a week (if they can survive it), and form realistic policies out of that experience.
I remember a taxi driver told me once, if you want to seek revenge on anyone, convince him to join as a Dubai taxi driver. I know now the reason. Poor fellows.