Kochi: A major section of ‘Uber’ and ‘Ola’ drivers will stay off road in Ernakulam district on Thursday demanding intervention of state government in stopping “exploitation” by the major cab aggregators.
“The online taxi drivers are observing a day-long strike and won’t ply from 7 am to 7 pm. Also 101 drivers will hold a ‘shayanapradakshinam’ at 3 pm on the district collectorate premise,” said Jakson Varghese, Kerala Online Drivers’ Union state president.
The strike is being held under the aegis of the ‘Joint Samarasamiti’ that includes members of all the online taxi drivers’ unions.
The main demands include intervention of the state government to stop the “exploitation” of drivers by the two online cab-hailing service providers, stop deducting excess commission from the drivers, implementation of wage hike (provide the minimum fare fixed by the government), no more firing of drivers from service without any prior intimation and stop forcing drivers to operate trips through ‘share’ and ‘pool’ systems.
“The companies have agreed to consider only one demand, that is, to discontinue off-loading drivers without warning. But they are not ready to address the other demands. We seek government intervention in the matter,” Jackson said.
Meanwhile, a Uber spokesperson said: “We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community, due to a small group of individuals. We remain committed to serving the city and ensuring that our driver partners continue to access a stable income, while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around Kochi.