TS cab drivers to desist from nation-wide strike


As I write this as an affected commuter, there is news coming in that the strike has reportedly fuelled the idea of starting their own cab services among the drivers in Delhi and Bengaluru.

The strike - organized by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena - claim that both companies gave "big assurances to drivers, but are unable to cover their costs".

DK Wagle, a regular user of cab service provider, said Ola and Uber were a convenient mode of transport besides getting AC rides in summer cheaper than taxis.

Demanding that their set of six demands be met by taxi aggregators Uber and Ola, cab drivers in the city will join the nationwide indefinite black badge protest from Sunday midnight.

Other taxi hailing unions, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union and Swaraj Vahan Chalak Malak Sanghatna have also extended their support and would be going ahead with the strike if their demands are not being fulfilled. Driver-owners in Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad are also expected to go on strike. He claims to have support of other unions on the issue. As reported in other media, the notices have been issued to Sanjay Naik, president, Arif Shaikh and Nitin Nandgaokar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena as preventive action. Pandit Thorat, senior inspector of Andheri police station said that in case of violation of any order, actionshall be taken against them. Previous year too, drivers went on an indefinite strike in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru demanding higher incentives, a lesser number of rides and more incentives for share and pool services.

Mumbai has 45,000 cabs, operating via aggregators like Ola or Uber.

Drivers attached to the cab aggregators have alleged that they are unable to cover their costs as Ola and Uber are giving first priority to company-owned cars rather than driver-owned vehicles. "They have invested $7691-$10,767 (INR 5-7 lakh), and were expecting to make revenues of $2307 a month, but are not able to make even half of their target, owing to the mismanagement by these companies".

"We have been informed by the Mumbai Police that they have proactively taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of commuters during their cab rides in the city.", according to Ola's spokesperson.