No respite for Mumbaiites as Ola-Uber drivers’ strike to continue on Wednesday
The strike has been called by the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, the transport wing of Raj Thackeray-led MNSmumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 00:11 IST
The city’s commuting woes will continue, as drivers of Ola and Uber plan to continue their strike on Wednesday.
A majority of the app-based cabs remained off the roads on the second day of the strike on Tuesday, although the situation was much better than Day One. Passengers said getting cabs wasn’t very easy, but the number was more than Monday. The fares were higher owing to surge pricing (rise in fare with demand).
“While we have seen a slight improvement in our services in Mumbai, for the situation to improve significantly, it is imperative that intimidation of driver partners and vandalism of their cars by vested interests be stopped. New economy companies like us are counting on the police for normalcy to return,” said Ola spokesperson.
Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, which had given the strike call with the support of other unions of cab drivers, blamed Ola and Uber for extension of the strike. Issuing a release on Tuesday night, it said the drivers will continue their protest as the Ola and Uber management had sought time for the meeting their main demands, but on Tuesday they did not receive any response from them.
There are an estimated 50,000 app-based cabs operating in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The union says the figure is 1.10 lakh. Of these, Ola and Uber collectively own approximately 10,000 vehicles. The drivers want the aggregators to stop giving preference to cars owned by them, a monthly income of Rs1.25 lakh, as committed by Ola and Uber, in the beginning, reinstatement of drivers who were blacklisted for petty reasons, similar incentive schemes for all types of cabs and reduction in commission charged by the company, among others.
Claiming that their strike call has received a good response in other cities such as Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, among others, the union stated that their strike was a success.
The aggregators, however, said many drivers wanted to resume service, but the unions were forcing them to stay offline. “Over the past 24 hours, a large number of our driver partners in Mumbai and Pune have reached out to us after they were forcefully asked to go offline by a small group of protestors. These protests continue to inconvenience riders and have impacted our ability to serve the city,” said an Uber spokesperson.