Police would tighten the security and may invoke section 149 (unlawful assembly) to detain protestors if they take out a morcha to Ola and Uber offices, said the media reports. However, the city did not face much of an inconvenience as most cab services continued to function smoothly on Monday.
The series of protests by Ola and Uber drivers, coming in quick succession all across India over the last several months, is escalating.
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The Mumbai based Navnirman Vahatuk Sena has called for an indefinite strike from Sunday midnight against Uber and Ola. The strike was called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, following which other unions also joined in. Other taxi unions like Mumbai Taximen's Union have extended their support.
Mumbaikars suffer as reconciliation attempts between cab aggregators and drivers failed on Monday; commuters either ended up paying surge pricing, or took trains, buses, autos. Drivers also claim that they bought their own cars on loans because they were expecting to earn Rs 1,00,000-1,50,000 per month, but are now underpaid. The protest will require the drivers to not login into the application and accept bookings.
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Where the per-kilometre fare once hovered around Rs10, this has dropped to Rs6 now due to the stiff competition between Ola and Uber.
This is evident from the fact that this is not the first such strike by the drivers in India, nor is it the first such strike globally.
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While these drivers living on a hand to mouth salaries risk their mere livelihood, both Uber, Ola and the Indian Government have failed to even comment in their favour. "We are so habitual to the easy accessibility of Ola and Uber cabs, it gets very hard to manage in such days of strike". "But drivers are unable to make even half of this because of the mismanagement by these companies", Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena said. As these companies settled and employed more and more people, they got greedy and today, are not giving any incentives to these drivers. "As far as Uber is concerned, police from Chirag Nagar have asked us for two days to set up a meeting with their representatives", Naik said. "While the companies claim that drivers are their partners, they are not given appropriate remuneration or financial benefits", said Naik. "We have been listening to our driver partners and are committed to ensuring that Uber remains an attractive opportunity for them".