A group of drivers of cab aggregators Ola and Uber is set to go on an indefinite strike to hold a protest over low payment and foul play from Sunday midnight.
The strike will take place in key cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune among others. As many as 5,000 drivers from different parts of the country will be gathered on Sunday to take part in the same. The group includes over 2,000 workers, affiliated to Ola and Uber.
The drivers, who have been raising their voice against this fraudulent over the last several months across India, are also planning to gherao the Parliament building on March 22 seeking government's attention in the matter.
Talking about a few allegations against the aggregators, Ravi Rathod, vice president of Sarvodya Drivers Association of Delhi told a leading daily, "The app is very partial as it gives long rides to company-owned cars. The general ones are left to take petty rides where they hardly make any money."
Moreover, both Ola and Uber initially promised divers a whopping income of Rs 1.5 lakh per month but they are unable to earn even half of this, owing to the double-dealing by these companies. Reportedly, they are being paid only Rs 20,000 instead and are in a huge debt, according to Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena.
While taxi-hailing companies offered loan-guarantee letters to drivers through the Mudra scheme and that too without any verification, they are defaulting on repayment now as their costs are not covered, he claimed.
In Mumbai alone, there are over 45,000 cabs on these aggregators but due to the slump in business, there has been a fall of 20 per cent in the number of cabs running on these platforms in the city.
"If our demands are not met, we will go on an indefinite strike," Naik said further, adding the drivers had approached the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, in response to their approach, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Saturday extended its support to the Ola and Uber drivers.
"We have approached the companies several times, but they are not willing to even listen to the issues of the drivers," MNS transport wing general secretary Nitin Nandgaonkar said.
Other unions of Ola and Uber are also in support of the strike, Sanjay Naik stated.
"The transport department should take strict action as these taxi-hailing companies are violating permit conditions, and also encroaching on the taxi-rickshaw business. It is good they are going on strike," Al Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union said.
However, the officials of Ola is yet to issue a comment while an Uber spokesperson has termed the move as speculative.