Strike on; Ola, Uber drivers plan rallies

Strike on; Ola, Uber drivers plan rallies
The ongoing strike by drivers attached to Ola and Uber is likely to continue for the fourth consecutive day, with drivers seeking permission from the police to stage a protest and take out rallies on Sunday.

Protesting the ‘drastic’ reduction in incentives and the fines for poor ratings and denial of duty, the drivers claimed that both the mobile-based cab aggregators were attaching more vehicles to their platforms even as the existing ones rarely get rides. “Since the companies are not addressing our problems, the government should intervene,” a drivers’ union leader said.

However, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the issue is between the private companies and their employees, and the government cannot intervene.

“The transport commissioner has tried to bring both the parties together in three separate meetings. Drivers have signed a contract with Ola and Uber. We have advised them to approach the labour court to resolve their issues,” he told DH. Ola, for its part, has removed the denial-of-duty fine to meet the drivers’ demand. There was no communication from Uber regarding the action taken.

Meanwhile, some of the drivers who opted to work without participating in the protest were assaulted by a mob. Video clips of a driver being assaulted and another’s vehicle being damaged were circulated on social media.

By Friday evening, union leaders, requesting anonymity, complained that police were detaining drivers over cases of assault.  “We have neither hurt any driver nor damaged any car. We want to protest in a peaceful manner,” a leader said.

Sources said 15 drivers have approached the police after suffering damages.  “Some of the drivers’ mobiles were snatched, while others had eggs thrown into the air conditioners of their vehicles. They had no  option but to approach the police,” a source said.

Protest today

Drivers sought permission from the Halasuru Gate police to stage a hunger strike. “Thousands of drivers will sit on a hunger protest at Freedom Park on Sunday,” Kiran Gowda, a driver, said.
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