As many as 40,000 Ola and Uber cabs are expected to go off road on Monday as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) union has called an indefinite strike, demanding improvement in working conditions for drivers. At least 80,000 Ola and Uber drivers are expected to remain offline on Monday in support of the strike. The drivers had last staged a strike in September last year against lower income returns received from mobile app-based companies. Sanjay Naik, president of MNS transport wing, claimed the drivers would remain offline starting midnight on Sunday.
“We expect at least 80,000 drivers will support us in the strike. It will not be a violent protest but a silent one with drivers expected to be off duty. While the companies claim that drivers are their partners, they are not given appropriate remuneration or financial benefits,” said Naik. Drivers in Thane region, Pune and Nashik in Maharashtra, Delhi and Bengaluru among other cities are expected to go on strike. In Mumbai, the drivers are expected to stage protest in front of the aggregators’ offices.
“The drivers were promised larger financial returns for their service in the companies. Today, they struggle to make ends meet. We will continue the strike till due action is taken by the government,” Naik added. Officials from cab aggregator companies said they have contacted the Mumbai police to ensure law and order is maintained during the strike. “We have been informed by the Mumbai police that they have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of commuters during their cab rides in the city,” said a spokesperson from Ola. Uber spokerperson refused to comment.