Ola-Uber strike: Union split leaves cabbies divided

Faction that split from core taxi drivers’ union stages silent demonstration at Azad Maidan

On March 10, around 40,000 Ola and Uber drivers had gone on strike to protest the taxi aggregators' 'draconian' rules. File Pic

Just four days after putting up a united front against taxi aggregators Ola and Uber for their 'draconian' rules, a rift has allegedly split cab drivers. A section of taxi drivers, under the faction Sangharsh Tourist Chalak Malak Sangh that split from the core union Action Committee of Maharashtra against Ola and Uber (ACM), staged a demonstration at Azad Maidan this morning.

Fewer vehicles were on the roads thereby causing a hike in fares.

Praful Shinde, member of ACM, said it had been decided during the March 10 protest to wait till March 21-22 for Ola and Uber's response to the drivers' demands. "We are preparing for an all-India level strike after that. Today's protest is only from one union that is piggybacking on our name."

Raju Patil, president of Sangharsh Tourist Chalak Malak Sangh, however, claimed that the ACM had promised during the cab drivers' first-ever strike on March 10 to support its March 14 protest. “I don't know what their stand is now. Today, it's a silent demonstration at Azad Maidan between 11am and 5.30 pm.”

Besides their original demands (see box), a number of drivers are now asking that the carpooling model of both Uber and Ola be scrapped. Both ride hailing platforms have been giving a major boost to their share model in recent times. Sources said the share model aims at bringing down the number of Uber and Ola cabs and eats into drivers' profits.

Drivers' demands

>> Remove Rs 500 fine for cancellation of trips

>> Fix monthly income at Rs 1.25 lakh

>> Fix minimum fare for economical ride at Rs 15/km, Rs 20/km for sedans and Rs 22/km for SUVs

>> Stop leasing out vehicles

>> Shut down the ride share model

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