Ola and Uber drivers allege their earnings are not enough for them to make ends meet
Do you use Ola and Uber for your daily commute? If yes, you may want to find other modes of transport as Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has called for an indefinite strike of drivers of cab aggregators Uber and Ola starting Monday midnight.
The strike, which will be observed in key cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, aims to voice the drivers’ woes of not being able to cover rising costs due to falling business. They are currently being paid Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per month, according to media reports.
“Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs. They have invested Rs 500,000 to Rs 700,000 and were expecting to make Rs 150,000 a month. But drivers are unable to make even half of this because of the mismanagement by these companies,” said Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, reported news agency PTI.
Naik accused Ola and Uber of giving priority to company-owned cars rather than driver-owned ones, thereby, hitting theirMumbai alone, there are over 45,000 Ola and Uber cabs but a slump in business has seen a drop of about 20 per cent in their numbers.
Meanwhile, the police has issued notices to leaders of the union under section 149 of CrPC relating to unlawful assembly.
Here are the top 10 developments of the Ola and Uber strike:
1. Ola, Uber drivers’ strike starts at midnight: The transport wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has organised the indefinite strike of drivers of cab aggregators Uber and Ola starting midnight.
While taxi-hailing companies offered loan-guarantee letters to drivers through the Mudra scheme and that too without any verification, they are defaulting on repayment now as their costs are not covered, Naik claimed.
Other taxi unions, including the Mumbai Taximen’s Union, have extended support.
2. Drivers claim Ola, Uber cheated them: Ola and Uber drivers said that while both the firms promised them an average monthly income between Rs 100,000 to Rs 150,000, the same was not the case. However, they initially believed them, and ended up buying cars on loans. Now that they are being underpaid, they have decided to go on a strike, said Swaraj Vahan Chalak Malak Sanghatna President Guru Katti, reported Times of India.
An average cost of a car varies between Rs 500,000 to 700,000.
3. Fuel hike adds to Ola, Uber drivers’ woes: Katti said a hike in the fuel prices have left drivers in distress with many being unable to pay their instalmentss and for the loans they took on their cabs, added the English daily.
4. Drop in per-km fare giving nightmares: Where the per-kilometre fare once to hover around Rs 10, the same has dropped to Rs 6 now due to the stiff competition between Ola and Uber. Moreover, Ola Share offers share pass varying on the distance one intends to travel. For instance, once can buy a pass for Rs 10 valid for 30 days, where one would be required to pay just Rs 30 for distance up to four kms and Rs 200 for distance up to 20 kms. Similarly, Uber offers slashes rates on its ‘POOL’ rides and often gives 50 per cent discount to users on Uber Go, which is the cheapest Uber car ride after share.
5. Ola giving preference to cars owned by them: Allegations have also been made that Ola is giving preferences to its own cars rather than the ones owned by drivers.
Highlighting one such incident, a driver said that even if a car owned by them is closer to a rider, the company will book for the rider the car that is owned by the company, according to media reports.