KOCHI: As their indefinite ‘offline strike’ entered its fifth day, a section of protesting Uber drivers under the banner of Self-Employed Drivers Union (SEDU) has started opting for parallel platforms to offer their service to the public. “Alternative platforms like Ola and PIU are offering a humane approach and charge only less commission from drivers. So, it is quite natural for us to opt out of Uber,” said Das G, SEDU Ernakulam district president. SEDU’s strike started on September 5 to protest against the alleged anti-labour policies adopted by the online cab aggregator.
Although agreeing on the cause of protest, another section of drivers has alleged that the way it is being organised raises many doubts. “Many of us have been opposing the illogical background checks done by the firm while recruiting new staff. Having said that, the protesting drivers haven’t given prior notice to the Labour Department or Uber before launching their protest,” said a driver.
Many drivers are apprehensive about the new entrants’ plans. “Many of these native brands are coming up with exciting plans. Some of them are even ready to offer the service without any commission. But once they pick up the market, how can we say that they won’t do the same to us in future?” asked another driver.
However, Uber has rejected the claims of protesting drivers once again. “The firm is committed to ensuring livelihood opportunities to drivers while offering convenient service to riders. We deeply regret the disruption caused by a small group of individuals,” said the Uber spokesperson.