Ola, Uber drivers go on strike in Mumbai

Ola, Uber drivers go on strike in Mumbai

Meanwhile, the protesting drivers say that they have been cheated by Ola and Uber.

Commuters in Mumbai were worst-hit with many taking to social media to vent their frustration.

This comes as Ola is expanding its business overseas with its Sydney launch and Uber set to roll out autos in Chennai, piloting the service in the city. "If the government fails to intervene, they shall go on an indefinite strike", Sanjay Naik, President of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena (MNVS), told IANS.

While a similar strike call was given in other cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and New Delhi, driver unions said there was no impact in the national capital, where, senior Uber and Ola representatives claimed, it was business as usual. If the demands are not met, the strike to go on indefinitely.

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Other taxi unions, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union, have extended support to the strike called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena.

He also said that surge pricing during rush hours was not benefiting drivers in any manner. The drivers claim low return and regular cheating from these companies basis for the strike. It will not be a violent protest but a silent one with drivers expected to be off duty. "We won't leave our cab drivers to be victims, but Uber gets market share because it's well received by the citizens", customs and trade minister Bulent Tufenkci told reporters in Hatay province late on Wednesday, adding the ministry was analysing the sector to make a decision on how to proceed. "While they had promised a monthly income of more than Rs 1.5 lakh, the drivers are not able to generate even Rs 25,000 per month". Its General Secretary A.L. Quadros demanded that the Regional Transport Authority take strict action against Ola and Uber for violating permit conditions and eating into the business of autorickshaws and taxis. "As far as Uber is concerned, police from Chirag Nagar have asked us for two days to set up a meeting with their representatives", Naik said.

The spokespersons for both the companies were contacted but they declined to comment on the agitation. According to them, vehicles which were owned by the companies and leased out to drivers were still plying on the roads, and the striking drivers were trying to stop 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. "We have been listening to our driver partners and are committed to ensuring that Uber remains an attractive opportunity for them".

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