RAK taxi drivers claim cars confiscated because of low earnings

Transport authority agrees to look into claims some drivers were forced to take 10-day unpaid training programme.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Drivers from a local taxi company have claimed their cabs have been confiscated because of low earnings, depriving some of them of income for weeks at a time.

The RAK Transport Authority (Rakta), which oversees the emirate’s three taxi companies, promised today to help drivers within a week when they made a group appeal. They claimed Al Hamra Taxi ordered that some of them undergo 10 days of unpaid training because they were not booking enough fares.

Drivers said they were told their taxis would be returned after the training period, adding that had not happened as yet. M Z, a 34-year-old Bangladeshi, said he has earned Dh560 since December. He has been unable to send money to his wife and three-year-old daughter or pay his monthly rent of Dh350 for a room with six people.



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“The office told me that they would call me when I can take my taxi,” he said. “The call has not come.”

The taxi company said some would be transferred to work Ajman but did not say when it would happen, drivers said. Those whose cars were confiscated have not had their visas cancelled, cannot work for other companies and cannot leave the country.

They apparently also cannot expect the company to help them in the interim. When drivers asked Al Hamra Taxi for loans to pay rent they were told to trust in God, they said. Most live off loans from friends and credit from cafeterias.

Rakta and Al Hamra Taxi were not available for comment.