Good News: Auto-taxi unions call off strike in Mumbai till Wednesday

Updated: Aug 29, 2016, 08:55 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

If you had braced yourselves for a tough week ahead vis-à-vis the public transport situation, heave a sigh of relief as the three-day strike called by the auto and taxi unions has been called off

If you had braced yourselves for a tough week ahead vis-à-vis the public transport situation, heave a sigh of relief as the three-day strike called by the auto and taxi unions has been called off. Following a meeting with transport commissioner Praveen Gedam, who assured the 12 participating unions that he would arrange for a sit-down with state transport minister Diwakar Raote, the unions took the call last evening.

Also Read: Auto-taxi strike: The men who will make life hell for Mumbaikars this week


In a special meeting called on Sunday that was attended by around 60 people, Gedam attempted to convince the unions that the minister would hear their demands and to not take drastic measures till that time. However, while no union gave immediate assurance that they would concede, most dropped out and called off their participation on Monday by late Sunday evening. However, one of the auto unions — Mumbai Autorickshaw Mens Union president — led by Sharad Rao’s son Shashank Rao, plans to go ahead with the auto strike scheduled for Wednesday.

While all taxi and auto unions have called off the strike on Monday and will ply as usual
While all taxi and auto unions have called off the strike on Monday and will ply as usual

Crisis averted
According to transport department officials Raote who will be in the city on Thursday and meet with all the unions. Speaking to mid-day, Gedam said, I have not been notified by the unions, but have just learnt that the strike has been called off. I am glad though that the unions have responded to my request and decided to hold off till the meeting scheduled for Thursday in Andheri.”

Shashank Rao has said they will continue with their strike on Wednesday as planned
Shashank Rao has said they will continue with their strike on Wednesday as planned

KK Tiwari, union leader of Swabhiman Taxi Rickshaw and Taximen’s Union did not participate in the meeting, however, he told mid-day that the union had decided to step out of the strike on Monday. Tiwari explained, “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had called Nitesh Rane and has asked us to hold till September 1 as the final decision will be taken that day. Hence, at the last moment we have decided to not participate in the strike on Monday.”

Read Story: Mumbai: Be prepared for three-day auto-taxi strike next week

Meanwhile, Bala Sanap, union leader of Jai Bhagwan Taxi Rickshaw Sanghatana said, “We were to participate in the strike, but since the transport minister will be meeting us on September 1, we will not strike on Monday.”

AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union said that he would stay away from the strike as he had filed a petition and has its hearing scheduled in the first week of September.

Auto union forges ahead
However, despite reassurances, Rao’s union is yet to call off his auto strike on August 31. Rao said, “I will be on strike demanding three things: all the illegal vehicles like buses and private vehicles should be stopped immediately; there are many drivers who are driving without badges so any auto rickshaw driver who has had a driving license for three years should be issued a badge without any restriction; and rules should be framed for aggregators. Until then, they should be stopped from playing in the city everyday.”

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