A driver for the Uber Technologies Inc. ride-hailing service, sits in a taxi in New Delhi. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Now, Auto, Taxi Drivers In Bengaluru, Hyderabad And Chennai Go On Strike 

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  • The ongoing protest in the national capital region (NCR) by the drivers attached to app-based taxi aggregators Uber and Ola has reached the southern part of the county. Now, taxi and auto drivers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai have called for a one-day strike on Wednesday, February 15 against failing incomes of the drivers, Tanveer Pasha, president of the Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola (UTO) Drivers and Owners Association told BloombergQuint.

    “Many associations are joining us and are coming together like radio taxi association, Meru cab association, auto associations, to launch a one-day strike in order to highlight our sufferings caused by ride-hailing firms like Ola and Uber,” Pasha said over the phone.

    After the one-day strike, the union is calling for an all India state union president’s meeting to discuss about the rampant violation done at the behest of Uber and Ola, said Pasha.

    They are violating the rules and regulations of central Motor Vehicle Act and still the government is allowing them to carry on the services. Not just the drivers attached with Ola and Uber, but others like radio drivers and auto drivers are also suffering due to the competition.
    Tanveer Pasha, President, Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola Drivers and Owners Association

    Taxi sharing services offered by these companies have been a bone of contention, as according to the central motor vehicle Act, cab sharing services such as Ola Share and Uber Pool are not allowed where multiple passengers are picked and dropped during one ride. The Karnataka government in January banned such services in Bangalore citing lack of legality as per Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

    Calling car leasing methods used by Uber and Ola a “leasing mafia”, Pasha said they enroll innocent drivers to lease vehicles from them by giving false hope of earnings.

    “While signing up drivers, they will make tall claims about the earnings and how it will help the drivers,” he said, adding that the companies would project the earnings in the range of Rs 50,000-60,000 but the drivers are only able to make half of it around Rs 25,000-30,000.

    Addressing the increasing pollution and traffic congestion problem in the city, Pasha said the company is adopting mindless increase in fleet size, in order to occupy the market share.

    Bengaluru has maximum capacity of 60,000 -70,000 cabs, that will be good and sufficient for Bengaluru. But they are not thinking about that and instead want more and more number of taxis. At present, 1.30 lakh taxis are dependent on Ola and Uber, because of their false assurances.
    Tanveer Pasha, President, Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola Drivers and Owners Association

    Pasha said the issues faced by the drivers across India are same and they might have to take strict measures to make their demands heard.

    “The union will call another meeting in 15 days and if the problems are not resolved then they will launch ‘Bharat Bandh (All-India strike),’ he said.

    Meanwhile, drivers in the national capital were on an indefinite strike since February 10, against “low fares” and “lack” of basic amenities from app-based taxi aggregators, such as Ola and Uber. However, it was called off partially on February 13 following the government’s assurance.