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Cab union announces protest in NCR today, aggregators say no disruption

Principal drivers’ union in NCR says aggregator cabs won’t ply today as it would hold a big protest demanding higher wages

gurgaon Updated: Mar 22, 2018 22:57 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
The protest is likely to cripple cab services in the city and hit commuters, who have already been suffering due to the lack of adequate transportation services in Gurgaon. As per an estimate by the RTO, over 20 thousand cabs ply in Gurgaon at present.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Officials of the Sarvodaya Driver’s Association, the principal cab drivers’ union in the NCR, have said that the aggregator cabs will not ply on Friday as the drivers would participate in a protest against low wages and the decision to ban the shared cab and bike service in the region.

The protest is likely to cripple cab services in the city and hit commuters, who have already been suffering due to the lack of adequate transportation services in Gurgaon. Due to lack of lack of last mile connectivity and public transport, city residents have had to fall back on the aggregator cabs to make their commute.

As per an estimate by the Regional Transport Office (RTO), over 20 thousand cabs ply in Gurgaon at present.

“We will hold a big protest against the aggregators, as they have only been paying one-third of the promised amount to the drivers. Hence, as part of our bid to step up campaign till our demands are met, we have decided to pull out the aggregator cabs from the NCR for 24 hours,” Kamaljeet Singh Gill, president, Sarvodaya Driver’s Association, said.

Gill added that the protesting drivers and union members will assemble at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park in New Delhi around 11am and march to the offices of OLA and Uber.

However, the despite the union threatening to pull out the aggregator cabs, OLA officials said that their cabs will ply as usual on the day.

“We have learned about the strike by our driver partners in Delhi from media reports. As of now, it is business as usual for us in Delhi-NCR,” an OLA spokesperson said.

Read I Gurgaon: Six days into strike, cabbies vexed over forgone income

“There are no disruptions to our service in Delhi-NCR at this point. We are committed to serving the city and ensuring that our driver partners continue to access stable earning opportunities while giving riders a convenient option to get around Delhi-NCR,” a statement from Uber said.

Although the union enlisted their support to the nationwide protest against OLA and Uber on Monday, it said it couldn’t pull out a significant number of drivers under its wing from the streets, citing ‘short notice’. This was the reason why the protest on Monday had a marginal effect on the NCR.

Residents claimed a slight jacking up of fares and also reported a longer waiting time for cabs on Monday. However, the union, on Monday, did threaten to launch a full-scale protest on Friday.

Residents voiced mixed reactions to the decision to pull out aggregator cabs on Friday.

“I book aggregator cabs quite often and had been informed by some drivers earlier that they have a lost a significant chuck of their daily earnings due to such protests in 2017. The said the previous protests failed to fetch them any gains. They said that their union had been a big letdown and they ply their vehicles instead of participating in such protests in future. Hence, I believe that there won’t be any significant disruption to the cab service tomorrow,” Anaita Kaul, a resident of DLF Phase-4, said.

However, others said they are not hopeful of the aggregator cabs plying as usual on Friday and will rely on the Metro service instead.

“There have been previous incidents where the protests turned violent and cabs were damaged. Hence, I believe it would be wise to stay out of harm’s way and board the Metro instead,” Nikhil D’souza, a resident of DLF Phase-2, said.

On April 17 and 18, 2017, drivers working for the aggregators protested against increased road tax in Haryana.

Earlier, in February 2017, cab services were severely affected as drivers grounded their vehicles demanding higher wages and life insurance among other benefits.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 22:57 IST