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Uber gets respite as it gets injunction from unions blocking cabs

As driver protests intensified in Delhi yesterday, Uber got an injunction which restrained two local taxi unions from interfering with the running of app-based cabs from the Delhi High Court, reports the Hindustan Times. Drivers from Ola and Uber were on strike protesting the reduced incentives and low earnings.

Uber accused the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) and Rajdhani Tourist Drivers’ Union of hampering its operations and blocked drivers who had not joined the protests. The company added that the union members and striking members removed mobile phones which were given to drivers. The court also restrained protesting drivers from staging a dharna outside Uber’s office in Delhi.

“We welcome this court order, which prohibits unions, their leaders and anybody else from obstructing the activities of Uber driver partners  as they go about their business.  We hope it will enable drivers to get back behind the wheel, something many have been telling us they wish to do. We’re sorry that our service has been disrupted and for any inconvenience this has caused,” Uber said in a statement to MediaNama.

Similar injunction last month

Note that Uber had gotten a similar injunction in Hyderabad last month during the driver protests last month, as indicated by this Business Standard report. It had got an injunction from the district court which stopped the Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA) and the Telangana State Cabs Association (TSCA) from interfering with drivers who chose not to protest.

Uber and rival Ola has seen its problems in Bangalore as well as drivers went on protest last month, citing low wages and long working hours.

Meanwhile, the News Minute reported that an Uber driver in Hyderabad committed suicide in Hyderabad as he was unable to pay EMIs on his vehicle. Praveen Kumar consumed poison after he was unable to pay his EMI of Rs 27,000 for four months. The report added that he was able to make only Rs 21,000 after working for more than 21 hours.

Uber has been raising fares for customers in Delhi and Mumbai. In Mumbai,  it hiked its ‘ride time fare’ by 50 paise per minute on uberGO (hatchbacks) and uberX (Sedans) rides, and also increased base fare for uberX rides by Rs 5 per km.  The company had earlier hiked fares in Delhi to Rs 1.5 per minute on all of its rides including uberGo, uberPOOL and uberX, bringing up fares by about 10-15% in the city. It also hiked fares in Delhi for rides longer than 20 kms and changed the pricing in Pune to Rs 15 per kms after the first 15 kms.

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