Chennai: Much hardship is in store for the commuters across Chennai as most of the cab drivers employed by app-based services including Ola, Uber and Fasttrack are going on a strike on Wednesday, in protest against stiff performance targets, falling incentives and irregular incomes.
The drivers had also threatened other drivers that there would be a violence outbreak if any of them operates their vehicles on Wednesday. This would eventually lead to skyrocketing of fares by the auto drivers.
About 50,000 drivers led by Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) have been protesting for “transparency in fares” for over a year.
“Initially, as Fasttrack was fleecing passengers for Rs.18 per kilometer, Ola charged Rs.12 per kilometer for the customer and the defecit-Rs.6 was paid to us by the company. As the app-based services gained popularity, the companies have been ‘exploiting the labour’ by setting fares on their own terms and not revealing it to the driver till the customer boards the cab,” rued one of the drivers, A.Karuppanambalam.
He further added that car-pooling services have added to their woes as most of the trips surpass the diesel cost.
Despite fleecing the commuters on cost per kilometer, Fasttrack drivers are also taking part in the protest because almost all the passengers diverted to other low cost app-based services. The divers said, the demand for Fasttrack cabs is less than half of the 13,000 cabs in the city.
P.Selvaraj, a cab driver complained that both Ola and Uber do not pay toll gate amount to the drivers, neither do they charge it from the commuters. Moreover, each driver pays a commission of 25 per cent for each ride to the company apart from Rs 200 at the end of the day.