Ola, Uber drivers’ strike begins today, could inconvenience users

MUMBAI March 19, 2018: Hundreds of people could be in for trouble as Ola and Uber drivers have threatened an indefinite strike from Monday, said media reports.

Mumbai has more than 30,000 aggregator cabs. Many commuters prefer sharing app-based cabs to their workplace.

The strike has been called by Maharastra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), said the reports.

Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, the transport wing of MNS, claimed thousands of driver partners are supporting the strike. “If we find any cab on the road after Sunday midnight, we will request the driver with folded hands. If he does not listen, we may handle the issue MNS-style,” he stated in media reports.

Few unions, such as Sangharsh Tourist Chalak Malak Sangh, have opposed the protest but many drivers may stay off the roads due to fear of being attacked or cabs getting damaged, the reports said.

Police would tighten the security and may invoke section 149 (unlawful assembly) to detain protestors if they take out a morcha to Ola and Uber offices, said the media reports.

DK Wagle, a regular user of cab service provider, said Ola and Uber were a convenient mode of transport besides getting AC rides in summer cheaper than taxis.

The protestors are demanding better earnings and more monthly incentives as some are living a hand-to-mouth existence, said Naik.

Naik said they had written several letters to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, transport department and transport minister but none had met them to hear their demands.

“The cab drivers have purchased vehicles costing around Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh and were promised earnings of more than Rs 1 lakh. But their income is going down every month due to mismanagement of Ola and Uber,” Naik alleged.