BENGALURU: Cab services in the city are likely to be affected on Wednesday as a section of drivers attached to app-based aggregators Ola and Uber have threatened to go on a strike. Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola (UTO) Drivers and Owners Association decided to go on a strike against the cut in incentives and reduced income.
Autorickshaw and taxi drivers unions backed by CITU and AITUC will stage a protest at the transport commissioner’s office in Shanthi Nagar against the hike in various vehicle fees, like licence fees.
Tanveer Pasha, president of the Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola (UTO) Drivers and Owners Association, said that a majority of app-based cab and airport taxi drivers’ unions, autorickshaw unions will join in the one-day strike.
“The government is turning a blind eye to the violations by cab operators. They have not taken action against ride-sharing services despite several petitions,” he said. He said most drivers attached to app-based aggregators have been suffering because their income has gone down despite working long hours.
However, autorickshaw and traditional taxi drivers, whose businesses were affected after the entry of app-based aggregators are unlikely to take part in the strike. Rudramurthy, Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union office-bearer said, “We will join the protest in front of transport department against the steep fee hike on learner’s fee, renewal fee etc. But we will continue to ply in the city.”
Radhakrishna Holla, general secretary, Bengaluru Tourist Taxi Operators Association (BTTOA), said, “We support the protest but we won’t be participating in the strike because of the ongoing air show at Yelahanka.”
Transport Department has called a meeting with representatives of Ola and Uber with their protesting drivers on Wednesday. Sources said the department is unlikely to take action for operating ride-sharing services despite the opposition from drivers.
While Transport Department’s 15-day deadline to stop ride-sharing services will expire on Friday, transport officials say they will take action based on the response from the Centre.
“We have sought a clarification from the Centre whether to allow share services but there has been no response so far,” said H G Kumar, additional commissioner of Transport Department.
The department is under pressure to several citizens, including state IT minister Priyank Kharge, opposed the department’s move to ban share services. Uber’s online petition supporting share services received more than 30,000 signatures. Kumar said most demands raised by drivers comes under the purview of Labour Department.
“Drivers will have to approach Labour Department to address such issues,” he said. Kumar says the Transport Department wants representatives of Ola and Uber to resolve the issues amicably.