Ola, Uber strike, day 2: Drivers stay put as Pune passengers stand, wait, hope
Protesting low earnings, the MNS transport wing claims that several drivers of these cabs are not able to cover costs due to declining business. The union has asked all app-based cab drivers to go on an ‘offline protest’. The protest will require the drivers to not login into the application and accept bookings.pune Updated: Mar 21, 2018 15:30 IST
Protesting drivers of app-based cab aggregators, Ola and Uber, continued their indefinite strike for the second consecutive day, as the companies refused to pay heed to their demands, resulting in inconvenience for commuters in the city.
The strike has been called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of the Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Protesting low earnings, the MNS transport wing claims that several drivers of these cabs are not able to cover costs due to declining business.
The union has asked all app-based cab drivers to go on an ‘offline protest’. The protest will require the drivers to not login into the application and accept bookings.
Rahul Daund, a protesting driver of Uber said, “We will continue our strike until our demands are accepted by the companies.Irrespective of the false claims which are made by the companies that everything continues to be normal, the truth is that more than 20,000 cab drivers have refused to operate today”.
Deepak Suryavanshi, another protesting driver of Ola said, “These companies are not taking our demands seriously. However, we have a strong union and will continue our protest till we get justice”.
Amidst the tussle between private drivers and the companies, citizens of Pune continue to suffer. Crowded places like the airport, railway stations, and colleges saw most of the impact of the strike on day two.
Pravin Kumar, a student of Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), said, “My home is at Vishrantwadi. It is for the second day that I had to wait for almost an hour to get a cab. On Tuesday, initially a cab driver from Uber confirmed my booking. I waited for half an hour for the cab to arrive. However, the ride was later cancelled by the driver, which caused me great trouble”.
Despite repeated attempts, there was no response from Ola.
However, an Uber spokesperson said, “Over the last 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”.
In Pune, there are over 25,000 cabs attached with app-based aggregators.