KOCHI: Nearly 10,000 online taxis plying in Kochi will remain off the road on Monday as part of the token strike called by the Samyuktha Samara Samithi, a collective of nine trade unions. The token strike is called by the samithi demanding government intervention to sort out the issues faced by online taxi drivers, including a hike in wages.
According to Samara Samithi convener Jackson Varghese, the online taxi drivers, through an RTI, has collected information on the possibilities of government intervention to sort out the issues faced by them. “We came to know that government of each state is responsible for the issues related to road transport in their areas. Hope the state government will intervene in our issues. Otherwise, we will think of launching strong protest measures including indefinite strike,” said Jackson.
He said the government intervention is needed in the issues related to low wages. “At present, nearly 25 per cent of the cash collected is being paid as commission to the service providers. Moreover, they are also suspending or cancelling the service agreement with the taxi drivers without any prior notice. This will result in the driver losing the contract all of a sudden, even if he is on a trip. These issues need to be addressed at the earliest,” he said.
Meanwhile, the taxi drivers of Ernakulam has joined hands to launch ‘Savari cabs’, which will begin services on November 14. The services will be typical call taxi services, where the customers can dial up the number and book the cab. The minimum fare will be `150 and `12 will be charged per additional kilometre.
The Savari cabs will charge the government-approved rates and are mooted as a way for livelihood to drivers who are finding it difficult to survive after the popularity that the online taxi services gained.
Meanwhile, the token strike on Monday by Uber and Ola drivers will affect the commuters, especially those working at Infopark and another group will be those who are travelling to the airport.
Reason for strike
The token strike is called by the samithi demanding government intervention to sort out the issues faced by online taxi drivers, including a hike in wages
At present, nearly 25 per cent of the cash collected is being paid as commission to the service providers