Meru Cabs suspends operations

Decision to ensure safety of companys property will leave drivers without income

The company had said it is pulling about 1,400 cabs off City roads keeping in view the safety of the passengers/customers and the company’s property. The decision, company representatives claimed, was made after repeated incidents of vandalism by its own drivers.

The services would resume only after the company is convinced and assured that its customers will be completely safe. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Meru Cabs Executive Vice-President (Operations, Marketing & Sales) Gavin D’Abreo said: “We cannot reverse the decision until the situation gets better as we cannot risk the safety of our customers which is one of our best selling points.”

He said about 40 of their 1,000-odd drivers had indulged in vandalism destroying company property as also posing a threat to the customers. The drivers had, earlier, demanded revision of fare and reduction in the subscription amount paid by the drivers to the company, besides seeking a stop on increasing the number of cabs.

D’Abreo, claiming that the demands were not reasonable, explained: “The revision of rate (currently Rs 15/km) is not something the company can do as it is fixed by the government and we are bound by our licence to keep it that way, while increase in the number of cabs is only a reflection of our business and will not impact the drivers’ earnings.

“The subscription the drivers pay us is a well-designed mechanism where we get about 50 per cent of the day’s earnings from the driver. And barring petrol fare the company maintains the vehicle completely.”

However, the decision has left other drivers without income. The drivers cannot even demand money from the company for suspending the operations since the relationship between the drivers and the company is not that of an employer and an employee.

As per the agreement, the driver hires a car owned by the company for which he pays a rent/subscription on a daily basis and earns from his daily work.

D’Abreo, while admitting that there were concerns from the drivers, said: “They are not bound by us through any agreement. They are free to find alternative avenues until the problem is resolved and then come back when the situation is fine.”

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