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Cab  drivers of Uber, Ola threaten hunger strike from tomorrow

The reasons behind cab drivers strike are real and justified. Our private companies are so busy doing “smart buisiness” that the working conditions of the employees has become a matter of no concern.

The two main cabs that have made such huge profits in no time (yes , we are talking about Ola and Uber)are now blind to the demands of the drivers they employ that the latter are forced to strike – the only route left for their genuine demands.

Cab drivers attached to Uber and Ola have now threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow (Wednesday) demanding fulfilment of their pending demands, Telangana cab drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA) said on Tuesday.

Strike in the city for the past four days

Strike call was called on Friday and has now entered its fourth day. “Stop  new registrations as the existing cab owners were not in a position to generate minimum business,”the association’s president, Shiva Vulkundakar said.

“They are using unfair practices. The state government should come to our rescue. They (Ola and Uber) make tall promises to drivers during enrolment time.The companies had promised that every cab driver would earn handsome money. But in reality the picture is different. We request the state government to allow us to use meters so that we can run our vehicles as taxis,” he said.

I will personally sit on indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow. Some of the members who support us may also sit along with me on hunger strike,” Vulkundakar told PTI.

Though the exact number of cabs attached to Uber and Ola is not officially known, the TCDOA claimed that over one lakh drivers belonging to both the taxi app companies are participating in the strike. 

“Business is as usual”.

Ola’s officials while admitting there is some impact on the business, however, said, “business is as usual”.

Uber’s released statement on Monday saying, “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.”

TCDOA refuted Uber’s allegation and termed it baseless.

State  government should come to our rescue.

The cab drivers were all welcomed to these multinational taxi services with high salaries and other incentives. But over a period of time things changed drastically. It boiled down to unreachable targets. Instead of paying fixed salaries on daily basis, the drivers are set unattainably high targets of kilometers which when crossed alone earn them high salaries.

To achieve this, the cab drivers are forced to work day and night and in this race, there is always risks of bad sleepless driving and accidents.

Even commuters unhappy with Uber, Ola

Commuters who were extremely happy with dial service cabs are now a unhappy lot. Not only is the waiting time highly stretchable, sometimes the cabs do not turn up, especially at peak hours and on busy routes, but promptly the commuter who has booked will be automatically fined for the exercise. The drivers are equally helpless as nothing is in their hands.

Prices are not constant for the distance but varies with extra surcharge, “surge pricing” without prior information.

Time is now right for the state government to step in and put pressure on the app-based companies.

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