A section of cabbies working for the app-based aggregators such as Ola and Uber are meeting on Tuesday to finalise the date of strike. The city has over 30,000 app-based cabs. Delhi and several southern metros such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad have already witnessed such protests.
Aggrieved by their steadily reducing income, increasing penalties and a cut on incentives from the app-based aggregators, the cabbies have been threatening strike since Sunday. If they go on a strike, this will be the first for app-based cabs in Mumbai. The service became an instant hit following its introduction in 2014.
Raju Patil, an activist from Sangharsh Tourist Taxi Chalak Malak Saghatana, said the drivers were left with no choice but to call for strike as their earning had dipped, adding to the pressure of paying monthly EMIs for the loans taken to purchase vehicles and providing for their families. He also complained of aggregators levying hefty penalties and not offering sufficient bookings.Patil said the drivers had forwarded their complaints to the aggregators, but they failed to respond.
On Sunday, the cabbies for the first time openly threatened strike against the aggregators after a meeting at Bandra-Kurla Complex. They had called for another meeting at same spot on Tuesday afternoon, but changed the venue to Govandi claiming hefty charges from Mumbai Metropolitan and Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).
“Earlier, we had planned a meeting at BKC. But after the MMRDA asked us to deposit lakhs, we shifted the venue to Govandi (West),”said another union leader of tourist cabs, adding that most cabbies are of the opinion that they should go on strike for pressing their demands.