AS MANY as 20,000 drivers of Ola and Uber cabs began an indefinite strike from Monday after representatives of the app-based cab companies refused to meet them to hear their demands.
While a group of drivers reached Uber’s office in Kurla to raise their concerns, senior officials from the company did not meet them. “We tried to reach their office so that we can present our concerns. We want them to increase our earnings, as we are paid poorly. Also, deducting our pay when customers complain against us is not right. We also went to the Ola office in Andheri, but the offices were shut,” said Sudhir Bhosale from the Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh.
“So, till the time they resolve our issues, drivers will not operate cabs and this will be an indefinite strike,” he added.
The drivers are demanding a fixed fare of Rs 16 per km for AC hatchback cars, Rs 18 for AC sedans and Rs 22 for AC SUVs with Rs 100-Rs 150 fixed fare for the first 4 km. Drivers also complained about the increase in operational costs due to hike in fuel rates. Due to the strike, there was a shortage of aggregator cabs in parts of the city, leading to surge pricing.
In an official statement, Uber said, “We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community due to a small group of individuals. We remain committed to serving the city and ensuring that our driver partners continue to access a stable income while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around Mumbai.”
Despite repeated attempts, Ola refused to comment on the issue.