Ever since the initiation of their services, ride-hailing apps Uber and Ola have been well accepted. Not only have these companies brought some respite from the relentless bargaining with auto and taxi drivers, but have also relieved those who do cannot depend on public transport for certain reason. But as it seems, the drivers ferrying you at your command are not being treated well by these companies – at least not as they expect.
In response, drivers all over the country have threatened to go on an indefinite strike starting midnight, Sunday, March 18. The cities affected by this strike include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune among the major ones. While Uber operates in 29 cities, Ola serves several smaller ones too and is present in 106. The major reason is the drop in the promised income to app-cab drivers.
Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, which is organizing the protest, has alleged that while signing up, drivers were given assurances about promising returns, but the companies have fallen back on their commitments. While drivers were promised a monthly income of over Rs 1 lakh, they are now finding it difficult to make ends meet. The drivers’ union has also claimed that the Ola and Uber favour businesses that own and operate multiple vehicles over individual drivers.
Drivers count many other reasons for the strike including a reduction in incentives earned by them and seizure of vehicles by banks due to untimely payments.
The union informed PTI that drivers and their families will protest in front of Ola and Uber’s offices in Mumbai on Monday, March 19. The demands put forward by drivers include a surge in fare for drivers, reinstatement of low-rating drivers, and fares being decided on the basis of the cost of the car.
All this means you will have to find alternatives to Ola and Uber in case you’re heading out this weekend.