Kochi: Talks fail; online taxis go on stir

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 7, 2018, 12:51 am IST
Updated Dec 7, 2018, 3:04 am IST
The strike is called by the Joint Samarasamiti that includes members of all the online taxi drivers unions.
The managements of Uber and Ola demanded four weeks to “study” the issues.
 The managements of Uber and Ola demanded four weeks to “study” the issues.

Kochi: A major section of ‘Uber’ and ‘Ola’ drivers has launched an indefinite strike on Thursday midnight after the talks at ministerial level to find a solution to their demand for government intervention against “exploitation” by the cab aggregators failed.

The strike is called by the Joint Samarasamiti that includes members of all the online taxi drivers unions.

 

A meet held at the chamber of transport minister A.K. Saseendran in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday had failed after the minister told the drivers’ representatives that at present there is no law to regulate the app-based service providers. The government, however, is in the process of bringing an amendment to the exisiting law, he had told them.

The managements of Uber and Ola demanded four weeks to “study” the issues.

“In short, no action is being taken against the exploitation of drivers by the online cab-hailing service providers,” said Jackson Varghese, Kerala Online Drivers Union state president. “We want them to stop deducting excess commission from drivers, implement wage hike (minimum fare fixed by the government), put an end to the practice of firing drivers from service without prior intimation and stop forcing drivers to operate trips through ‘share’ and ‘pool’ systems.”

Mr Varghese has been observing an indefinite fast before the Kakkanad collectorate premise from November 27. After his health condition deteriorated on Thursday evening, the 10th day of fasting, the police forcefully took him into custody and admitted at Kalamassery Medical College.

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