| 3 minutes read

3 minutes read

Passengers Face Difficulties As Ola And Uber Go On An Indefinite Strike

| Published on October 23, 2018

Monday saw a lot of trouble forthcoming for commuters as both Uber and Ola drivers went on an indefinite strike. The drivers are demanding higher fares and better rules for themselves and have vowed not coming back to work unless their demands are fully met. This led to a lot of chaos and resulted in fewer vehicles on the road with high surcharge pricing.

The Protest

Led by, Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti in Delhi and Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh in Mumbai, around 300 drivers assembled outside Uber’s office in Kurla on Monday, shouting slogans and waving placards with messages like “Uber go back” and “Ola is the biggest thief”. In Delhi, the drivers on the road were less and few, as not just the protest, but they also feared damage to their cars and assaults if they drove around. Some protesters were seen beating up posters of Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal with chappals, and even Virat Kohli had to bear the brunt of being Uber’s brand ambassador and his posters were used to vent out anger.

Some drivers spread to the road and tried stopping other vehicles from plying

“Britishers had come to India for trade but they ended up looting us. Similarly, these private cab operators entered the market to do business but now are exploiting our drivers. We have launched a ‘Quit India’ movement to get these companies out,” said Govind Rao Mohite, general secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh.

The Issues

Apart from the issue of poor payments, the drivers had other complaints against the cab-hailing giants. Farook Ahmed, who has been driving for both Ola and Uber, pointed out that the device provided to them to track kilometres covered during a ride is faulty. “For example, if we cover a distance of around 70 km, it will show merely 50 km or less once the customer is dropped. The company does not have any redressal mechanism for its drivers.”

“An Ola or Uber driver is now earning only Rs 4.30 per km compared with Rs 15-20 per km a few years ago. Driver incentives have also fallen by 80% since 2016,” said Anand Kunte, advisor to the Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh.

About 60-70% drivers are not willing to come back to work unless their demands are met while others are pressurized by the union in order to stay away from work.

Brand Speak

“We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community due to a small group of individuals. We remain committed to serving the city and ensuring that our driver partners continue to access a stable income while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around their city,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

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