Over 50,000 Ola and Uber drivers set to join the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation employees in observing state-wide strike on 19th October.
The Joint Action Committee of the cab giants has taken the opportunity to bring light upon their grievances by backing up the protest. Not only does the JAC (Joint Action Committee) support the demands of the TSRTC employees, but has also served a notice on the managements of Ola, Uber and other local cab aggregators to provide better working conditions, higher per kilometer payout and compulsory KYC registration of customers to ensure a driver’s safety.
According to a media report by Hindu Business Line, the driver association has sent local heads of IT firms memoranda, comprising of their demands. Shaik Salauddin, Chairman of the Telangana State Taxi and Drivers’ JAC, told BL that they were getting a minimal payout from the aggregators and have thus demanded a minimum payout of Rs 22/km as against the present Rs 12/km.The JAC has also demanded to set up a Taxi DRivers Welfare Board to protect the interests of the drivers linked to the aggregators.
Resurfacing Ola, Uber distress
It is not the first time that Ola and Uber have expressed grief. Drivers all across India have protested against the firms for their business model and practices that have hampered the drivers directly. During a protest in July, the Sarvodaya Driver’s Association of Delhi claimed that in 2018, over 19 drivers were murdered in the Delhi region while on duty. The drivers often face harassment.
According to a media report, the Uber and Ola prices have risen by 10-15% nationally, while the incentives given to the drivers have recorded a registered drop of 30% in the same period.
In March, 150 Ola drivers protested outside the company’s Bengaluru head office. The grievances list raised issues like differential pricing and blacklisting of drivers solely based on user inputs.
The drivers have earlier raised concerns over the firm’s car leasing program, which requires them to pay Rs 1,000 per day, costing them much higher, gathering the cost of the car much higher than the actual price.
In February, the drivers submitted an 11 page long letter, highlighting their demands and grievances that include eliminating the daily internet charge of Rs 60 on sedan cabs, mobile app to ensure the safety of drivers, along with KYC for customers and revision in firm policy to onboard spare drivers in case Ola Partners can’t work.