Ola, Uber drivers to begin hunger strike from today

Ola, Uber drivers to begin hunger strike from today

The drivers associated with Ola and Uber will begin their hunger strike at Freedom Park on Wednesday. Drivers’ union said that there won’t be taxi services from Wednesday.

“The strike will be total. We won’t disrupt services. In fact, union leaders have warned that any driver resorting to violence will be handed over to police,” leader of a union said.

The drivers got a shot in the arm after they met former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday, who assured them of getting permission from the police that was denied on Monday.

“You should continue the strike without disturbing peace. I understand your problems. The government has refused to come to your aid. I will also consider hiring a good lawyer to fight for you in the court,” he told drivers who met him.

The Karnataka High Court’s injunction on Monday barred the agitating drivers from disrupting the Uber services, leading many to believe that the strike may fizzle out. However, there were no signs of the services resuming on Tuesday though the Uber app showed a few taxis at the nerve centres of the city.

An estimated one lakh cars are associated with Ola and Uber. About 15,000 of them are said to be vehicles rented out to drivers by these companies. There may be other drivers who may start working driven by need.

“I sold my auto and took a loan to buy this car. I have to pay for vehicle loan and take care of my family. After six days of strike, I have been reduced to hand-to-mouth existence. I have no option but to work tomorrow,” said Suresh Nanjapa, a driver.

Ola is already luring its employees with special incentives. More incentives will be given to woo the drivers, a source said.

Meanwhile,  Jalahalli police booked two drivers associated with app-based cab aggregators for snatching the smartphone of another driver who continued to work despite the strike call.

Police sources said a case under IPC Section 392 (robbery) was registered after victim Shashikumar went to the police station with Ola’s legal and law enforcement head Anik.

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