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Ola calls off strike, Uber to continue protest in Mumbai

MUMBAI: App-based taxi aggregators Ola on Wednesday withdrew the strike here which was called by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), while Uber chose to continue the protest.

MNS transport union called off the strike for Ola drivers in Mumbai following discussions with Ola officials today evening. The union is, however, yet to decide on Uber drivers.

The strike has been called in major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru, among others. The cabbies have called for the strike demanding restructuring in the payment structure.

The call for strike was made after drivers claimed that they were given big assurances but were unable to cover even their costs on the ground. “Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs. They have invested Rs 5-7 lakh, and were expecting to make Rs 1.5 lakh a month but are unable to even make half of this, owing to the mismanagement by these companies,” Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, who is organising the strike, had said.

The protestors claimed that the taxi-hailing companies are giving first priority to company-owned cars and not driver-owned vehicles, which is causing a slump in their business.

While taxi-hailing companies offered loan-guarantee letters to drivers through the Mudra scheme and that too without any verification, they are defaulting on repayment now as their costs are not covered, Naik had claimed.

In Mumbai alone, there are over 45,000 cabs on these aggregators but due to the slump in business, there has been a fall of 20 per cent in the number of cabs running on these platforms in the city.

“The transport department should take strict action as these taxi-hailing companies are violating permit conditions, and also encroaching on the taxi-rickshaw business. It is good they are going on strike,” Al Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union had said.

There has been no official word yet from either Ola or Uber. While Ola had declined to comment, an Uber spokesperson had termed the strike call as a speculative.

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