Cab aggregators Uber and Ola cabs are once again in news for unpleasant reasons. Reportedly, Uber and Ola cab drivers in Delhi and NCR could go on strike on Tuesday from 11:00AM IST, affecting over thousands of commuters. The latest strike has been called by the Sarvodaya Drivers Association, who also led a similar strike in February. The association said that their demands from the previous strike have not been met yet. Thus, they plan to march in protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal s residence. Also Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needyAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Long-term Review
“Nothing has changed since our February protest. Drivers continue to slog for 16-18 hours daily and still are barely earning enough to eat and pay the car EMIs. Fares of registered city taxis can only be fixed by the government, whereas, Ola-Uber still continue to levy their own rates,” Kamaljeet Gill, President SDAD, told HT. After Delhi, similar strikes might rise in other cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Reportedly, over 1.5 lakh cabs could be part of the one-day strike at Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi. Also Read - OnePlus India partners American Express for cashback deals, EMI offers and more
The Delhi HC has however restrained the cab unions from going on a strike. The HC has issued orders stopping the unions and their members or associates from removing or confiscating the mobile devices installed in the app-based cabs. The court has also restrained agitated cab drivers from staging any protest or violence within 500 metres of the offices of OLA and Uber in Delhi-NCR.
“The Honourable Delhi High Court has issued a perpetual injunction restraining unions, their leaders, members and their followers from preventing Uber driver partners from going about their work. We welcome the court’s order and hope that it will enable drivers to stay behind the wheel, without fear or harassment henceforth, an Uber spokesperson was quoted as saying. We are hopeful that the order will be effectively enforced and that action is taken against any person who attempts to block cars, confiscate devices or harass riders and drivers and that the safety of everyone using the Uber App in Delhi is ensured. We are committed to keeping Delhi moving and ensuring a reliable experience for riders and drivers
Corresponding to the February strike, the cab drivers now demand from government to regulate cab fares and working hours. These cab-aggregator services fare go as low as Rs 6 per kilometer, which apparently puts cab owner and drivers at the receiving end. Many Cab owners and drivers are failing to repay the loan they took to invest in cars to sign up for the ride sharing platform.
“These companies lured us by promising Rs 1.2 lakh earning per month. So many of us bought cars on EMIs by selling our lands and our wives’ jewellery but once they captured the market, these companies rolled back all incentives and brought down the fares to Rs 6 per kilometer,” Sarvodaya Driver Association chairman SP Soni told ET. “We cannot even meet the expenses for the maintenance of the cars and EMIs with these earnings. To make matters worse, these companies have now rolled out their own cars and the preference is given to these cars. We are hardly making enough to survive.”