Meru cabs strike takes political turn

Two unions led by Swabhimaan Sanghatana, the one that initiated the strike, and Shiv Sena, which is against it, sling mud at one another

Although it's been a week since a majority of the Meru Cabs fleet of 2,000 vehicles has been off the roads, the company's call centre claims that all's well within the organisation and bookings are full. But the issue seems to have taken a political turn.

While the ongoing strike has been called by a faction of Meru drivers union led by Nitesh Rane's Swabhimaan Sanghatana, the other faction led by Shiv Sena, is against the strike. The Shiv Sena-led Meru drivers union, Meru Chalak Sena, has now approached the transport department, requesting it to take appropriate action to resolve the issue.

"We have also written to the state government asking it to fire all those drivers, who are illegally on strike. These drivers and their unions are unnecessarily making lives difficult for commuters," said Vinayak Raut, union leader, Meru Chalak Sena.

Presenting their side of the story, members of Swabhimaan Sanghatana-led Meru drivers union claimed that they have been protesting silently by keeping the cabs off the road. "It's the Shiv Sena-led Meru drivers union that is damaging vehicles and blaming us for it. The company is unnecessarily implicating our drivers," said K K Tiwari, leader of the Swabhimaan Sanghatana-led union.

"Ever since the strike was called on March 21, there have been 108 instances of vandalism, threats or assaults by the drivers on strike. We also got threat calls from Deepak Mishra, a driver who was fired for his misbehaviour and an office-bearer of Swabhimaan Sanghatana," said Rajesh Puri, CEO, Meru cabs.

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