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Uber claims drivers withdrawing protest, MNS says strike will go on

Drivers of the app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber have been on an indefinite strike against the low profit margins since on Monday, which was called by the transport wing of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

mumbai Updated: Mar 20, 2018 23:58 IST
Press Trust of India, Mumbai
Uber,Ola,Driver of Ola Uber strike
Ola and Uber drivers on strike in Andheri, Mumbai, on March 19, 2018. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

On the second day of the strike by its driver-partners, Uber on Tuesday claimed a large number of car operators from Mumbai and Pune have withdrawn the protest while the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said the stir would continue on Wednesday as well.

Drivers of the app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber have been on an indefinite strike against the low profit margins since on Monday, which was called by the transport wing of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

It is known that over 45,000 app-based cabs operate in Mumbai alone.

Meanwhile, rail roko by hundreds of job aspirants this morning compounded the woes of office-goers in Mumbai who struggled to find transport to reach their offices.

Drivers of some black and yellow cabs had a field day as they charged extra fare from hapless commuters.

However, some drivers of Ola and Uber started plying their vehicles in view of the hardships faced by citizens.

However, the MNS Vahtuk Sena stood firm to continue with the strike.

“We invited senior executives of Ola and Uber to hold discussions over the stand-off, but nobody turned up. due tow which we have decided to continue the strike tomorrow as well,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, MNS Transport Wing president Sanjay Naik and 11 others, arrested yesterday under various sections of the IPC, were produced before a court in Andheri, which remanded them in police custody till March 27, a police officer said.

An Uber spokeperson said that a large number of their driver partners in Mumbai and Pune have “come back to us over the last 24 hours”.

“We are committed to ensuring that driver partners are able to use the Uber app to have a rewarding entrepreneurial experience. Over 80 per cent (driver partners) who are online for eight hours a day are making between Rs 1500 and Rs 2500 net (profit daily) after deducting Uber’s 20 per cent service fee,” the statement said.

Cracks seem to be developing among protesting drivers over continuation of the strike.

An Ola driver, who lives in Kurla, said, “I watched television this morning and found the situation very bad due to the rail roko protest. Therefore, I decided to ply my cab”.

An Uber driver said he and many others are against the strike.

“I am sure that drivers who are protesting are very few in mumber. A majority of the drivers who are offline are sitting at home out of fear of attack by other protesters and fearing damage to their vehicles,” he said.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 23:47 IST