Ola, Uber drivers launch indefinite strike in Delhi, Mumbai, others
Ola and Uber drivers have launched an indefinite strike across major Indian cities, leaving commuters in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and elsewhere helpless. Their prime demands are better working conditions and wages. Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, which called the strike, has reportedly threatened to handle non-cooperating drivers "MNS-style." Meanwhile, commuters will bear the brunt of overcrowded buses/metros and steeply-overcharging autorickshaws.
Here's why Ola-Uber drivers are angry
According to Naik, Ola-Uber had assured drivers Rs. 1.5L monthly, but they don't earn even half due to "mismanagement by these companies." They handle company-owned taxis on higher priority than driver-owned cabs, thus affecting their business, he added. Demands include deciding fares according to the vehicle's cost, removing low-fare bookings from the platform, and reinstating blacklisted drivers who have been rated low by passengers.
Statement from Ola on the matter
Neither company has responded to the drivers' demands till now. "We have been informed by the Mumbai Police that they have proactively taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of commuters during the cab rides in the city," an Ola spokesperson said.
Mumbai Police invokes prohibitory orders against striking leaders
The strike, initially called by the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, has received support from drivers' unions in many other cities. According to reports, there are 45,000 cabs in Mumbai alone that are likely to go off the roads. Police have issued prohibitory orders to Naik and other Vahatuk Sena leaders Arif Shaikh and Nitin Nandgaokar.
Can the drivers expect results this time?
Such strikes are common in the metros, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. But drivers often give up as they keep losing daily income. It is the commuters and drivers themselves who face trouble due to such strikes, which mostly fail to dent the companies. In Bengaluru, many drivers have joined rivals Namma TYGR, that enjoys the support of former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.