A tech platform that specializes in transformation of global technologies for local enrichment, Yango has rebuffed allegations of labour abuse and driver exploration in the online taxi industry.
The company has been in the media for the bad reason over practices that raised serious concerns about labor rights, unfair demands, and financial exploitation of young Ghanaian drivers.
According to the said publication, under the Yango scheme, the company offers cars for lease to Ghanaian youth with the promise of daily stipends or weekly wages.
However, there’s a catch that many drivers find nearly impossible to meet – the requirement to complete a staggering 17 trips daily and generate a minimum of GHC 150 each day. These demands often exceed what is realistically achievable, leaving drivers in a precarious situation.
It was reported that, if drivers fail to meet their daily targets, Yango reportedly resorts to extreme measures, such as locking drivers’ phones, effectively depriving them of access to essential resources and income-generating opportunities. Drivers are left with no choice but to pay additional penalties to regain control of their phones, and before drivers are given access to a vehicle, Yango requires them to make a deposit of GHC 450.
However, when drivers decide to return the vehicle due to the challenging conditions and punitive penalties, the company allegedly refuses to return the deposit, causing further financial strain on the drivers.
These distressing practices have sparked outrage from various quarters, with many asserting that Yango is taking advantage of the lack of employment opportunities in Ghana, leaving young drivers vulnerable to exploitation.
However, in its response Yango stated that the company (Yango) is not a taxi or a transportation company and it does not employ drivers or own or lease out any vehicles.
It averred that it is a technology company that transforms global technologies into everyday services, with an impact on local development.
According to its response, “Yango service connects riders with drivers.
Drivers who work for the partners of Yango choose to drive with Yango for the flexibility and control they have. Partners own their own transportation companies, and they use the Yango app to connect their drivers with riders and grow their business. “
It also stated that, “Yango’s partners in Ghana do offer their drivers leasing programes, but the conditions of these programes are among the facts that have been distorted in the article. As such, the minimum of daily trips, although implemented by some of the Yango partners, is not based on the unreachable figures as it has been pointed out.”
The company also mentioned that, the absolute majority of the drivers who participate in the program, reach their daily goals, and overreach them, which helps them provide a steady income for their families.
“If a driver wishes to leave the program, the deposit is always refunded after minor deductions based on the condition of the leased car. Also, we have not received any official complaints from the drivers who are unhappy with their participation in the said partner’s program, although our support team is always there to answer any of the questions and guide the drivers through the process.”
Yango, said it found the claims to be fully ungrounded.
It however indicated that through the leasing program, Yango’s partners offer to the drivers, hundreds of people across Ghana are now earning more than before and above average pay and Yango itself has just recently shared various initiatives such as partner driving earnings increasing efforts, benefits like free health screenings, driver of the month awards and other support activities.
“Partner drivers are always welcome to discuss their individual concerns, because Yango succeeds only when our partners succeed, so our teams are working hard every day to find even more ways for the drivers on the Yango platform to thrive,” it stated.