Drivers of Ola and Uber called off their 13-day strike on Thursday after the Delhi government and the two companies assured them of fulfilling most of their demands.
Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi (SDAD), the union that was leading the strike and claims to represent 1.5 lakh drivers in Delhi-NCR, said it has called off the strike till February 27 as the app-based cab aggregators have sought time till then to resolve the issues.
The development comes after the Delhi government on Thursday called a meeting with striking drivers and representatives of Uber and Ola. The meeting lasted for almost four hours. SDAD president Kamaljeet Gill said, “The companies have agreed to increase the existing fare of Rs 6 per kilometre. Besides, they have agreed that the penalty of R 500 won’t be imposed on drivers under the Driver Denied Duty (DDD) rule.”
Gill warned of a fresh stir if the demands are not fulfilled by their employers by February 27.
While Ola refused to comment on the issue, an Uber spokesperson said, “We participated in the meeting convened by the Delhi government and reiterated that individual drivers can come to us at any time to raise concerns. We condemn the violent protests carried out by striking unions which not only affected passengers but also kept drivers away from earning an honest living.”
For almost two weeks, thousands of Uber and Ola drivers have been demanding better benefits, accident insurance, relaxation in working hours, higher pay and an increase in the per kilometre rate, which is currently R 6 – far less than autorickshaws and government prescribed rates for AC and Non-AC radio taxis.
“The companies assured drivers’ union to work on their demands shortly and will give their assurance to the High Court on February 28, when it will hear drivers and cab aggregators. The Delhi government has assured the drivers of their welfare, particularly those harassed without having been given an opportunity to be heard by the companies,” the government said in a statement.
On the demand of removal of toll charges at borders, the government said it will take a “sympathetic” view on it. The government will raise the issue with municipal corporation.
Commuters in Delhi-NCR faced a harrowing time booking cabs as drivers of Ola and Uber had gone on indefinite strike in favour of their demands on February 10. However, the strike seemed to be losing steam over the last three days as most of striking union’s members started plying their cabs.