Tensions continued to escalate as some drivers on Ola and Uber in Telangana State represented by taxi unions declared a five-day strike against low earnings, reports Business Standard. The strike was called by the Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA), Telangana Cabs Association (TCA) and the Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) which claim to represent over 1 lakh drivers in the state.
The drivers’ demands included clearing outstanding dues and providing a valid reason for suspending drivers. The also wanted the companies to scrap the star-rating system and remove the mandatory three-trip compliance for incentives during surge hours, as indicated by this India Today report.
A Deccan Chronicle report pointed that drivers may extend the strike till Sunday.
A spokespeprson for Ola declined to comment on the issue and the demands of the drivers. The spokesperson added that the issue is developing and is in conversation with drivers. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Uber sent a statement said that a few people have threatened drivers who have chosen to continue driving and damaged vehicles in the state.
“We condemn the forceful disruption to our services in Hyderabad by a small group of people who have threatened drivers and damaged vehicles, inconveniencing riders and preventing people from earning a livelihood. We remain committed to serving the city, and call upon authorities to ensure safety and continued operation of our services so that we can keep Hyderabad moving,” the statement read.
Uber also sent messages to customers during the entire period saying that they were experiencing disruption of services and that they would be working on restoring them as soon as possible.
Other strikes in states
In October 2016, Kerala’s All Kerala Online Taxi Drivers’ Union held a strike protesting against Uber because it offer a limited number of rides to its drivers. The union said that each vehicle should get at least 20 trip requests as opposed to the 10, 15 and 20 trips on which the company makes offers on. The union demanded a minimum wage for drivers who were working continuously for 12 hours
In Mumbai, taxi and autorickshaw unions had threatened to go on a strike again from November 10, 2016, if online cab aggregators were not regulated in the state of Maharashtra.
In September 2016, the Delhi government said that it would take “strict action, including cancellation of permit and impounding vehicles” against taxis which charged over the government prescribed rates. This was in a response to the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union, which called off their strikes against online cab aggregators. Following these incidents, Ola and Uber suspended peak and surge pricing in Delhi NCR.