Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Ola, Uber drivers' strike begins today, could inconvenience users

The MNS’s transport wing demanded that Ola and Uber should give their drivers an assured business of Rs1.25 lakh per month The MNS’s transport wing demanded that Ola and Uber should give their drivers an assured business of Rs1.25 lakh per month
Isabel Fisher | 20 March, 2018, 04:45

A total of four cab aggregator unions had participated in the strike.

Last year, when drivers of these cab services went on a strike, commuters relying heavily on these app-based cab services were left with no choice but to pay nearly double charges to the auto drivers. The state government issued prohibitory orders against the leaders of the striking drivers, Arif Shaikh, Nitin Nandgaonkar and Sanjay Naik but that didn't deter them from creating ruckus.

While a similar strike call was given in other cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and New Delhi, driver unions said there was no impact in the national capital, where, senior Uber and Ola representatives claimed, it was business as usual.

Naik said they had written several letters to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, transport department and transport minister but none had met them to hear their demands.

Other taxi unions, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union, have extended support to the strike. The drivers claim low return and regular cheating from these companies basis for the strike. Some unions have opposed the strike but many drivers may still stay off the roads out of fear, reports said. Drivers at the courthouse protest chanted: "Jewish, Zionist Uber!".

Drivers were making a fraction of what was promised to them when they partnered with the companies, he added.


Mumbai has 45,000 cabs, operating via aggregators like Ola or Uber.

With Ola, Uber drivers striking work on Monday, users were in for a long day. "They have invested Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh, and were expecting to make Rs 1.5 lakh a month, but are unable to even make half of this, owing to the mismanagement by these companies".

Eyup Aksu, chairperson of the Chamber of Istanbul Taxi Operators, said he had received assurances from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim that Uber was indeed breaking the law, although the prime minister's office declined to comment when reached by phone.

Now, the drivers who own their own vehicles, are alleging that Uber and Ola are partial towards the drivers who have bought the vehicles from them, and they are being given more bookings compared to them.

Rahul Daund, a registered Uber driver said, "Earlier our payments were done by the companies considering the number of daily rides". Bapu Kamble, an auto-driver working with Ola, shared, "It was only the four-wheelers that went on a strike". We have been listening to them all along and want to ensure that Uber remains an attractive opportunity for them.

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