Uber, Ola drivers to intensify protest in Kochi

The government’s move came even after the union president Jackson Varghese is undertaking an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Ernakulam civil station for more than a week.

Published: 05th December 2018 09:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2018 04:05 AM   |  A+A-

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According to them, the strengthening of the protest is the only way to force the government to find a solution. (File Photo | EPS/Ashwin Prasath)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: A day after the talks held by the representatives of the online taxi drivers with Transport Minister A K Saseendran failed to yield a result, the Uber and Ola drivers have decided to go on an indefinite strike from Thursday midnight.

Though the online cab drivers’ union president Jackson Varghese has been staging an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Ernakulam civil station for more than a week, the government has turned a blind eye to it.

According to the drivers, the government has decided to increase the auto and taxi fare on Wednesday, but they have taken a double standard attitude while considering the online drivers’ plea.

“The Transport Minister on Tuesday said a rule-making is in the process and the drivers have to wait for a long time for it to become a legislation. We are forced to go on an indefinite strike as the government has turned down our request to consider our demands.  The strike will continue until the government takes a decision,” said Jackson.

Meanwhile, the action council members also said the families of drivers will join the protest.“Our family is depending on our income which we are earning through driving. They too will join our strike with an aim to open the eyes of the government to find a solution to this,” said Jackson, whose condition is getting worse as the hunger strike has entered the ninth day. 

Stop exorbitant commission charged by Uber and Ola, increase wages by implementing the govt-decided fare, end sacking drivers without any prior intimation, stop Ola from bringing in vehicles of their own, end pool and share system and monitor the functioning of companies by the state government are the major demands of the action council.

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