The drivers, working with Uber and Ola, demanded that the Central and State Governments take immediate steps to regulate the functioning of aggregators to protect the livelihood of nearly one lakh families in Telangana State.
Hundreds of drivers, working with Uber and Ola, participated in a day-long hunger strike held at Dharna Chowk, Indira Park, on Saturday. The dharna was organised by the Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) and Telangana Cab Owners Welfare Association (TCOWA). The drivers held placards with messages asking Uber and Ola managements to honour their commitment.
Speaking at the hunger strike camp, TSCBOA President Syed Nizamuddin alleged that the managements of both Uber and Ola have completely failed to provide promised business and incentives to the drivers, whom they enrolled as “Partners”. The drivers were lured into the contract on the promise of more than Rs 70,000 monthly income. The drivers, who purchased new vehicles on finance on heavy interest rates were badly hit after the Uber and Ola managements drastically reduced their incentives and bookings. “Today the drivers are unable to even pay the loan interest on time. At least 25,000 families were directly hit due to the cheating committed by Uber and Ola managements,” he alleged.
Nizamuddin said that the Uber management had agreed to resolve the issue when the Association held a similar protest on August 28 this year. However, they did not honour the promise and kept on reducing the incentives and payments to drivers. The Ola management too behaved in a similar manner. He informed that more than 150 drivers lodged a joint complaint against the cheating by Uber management at Madhapur Police Station on November 10. However, the police is yet to register a case and take action.
The TSCBOA leader said that Transport Minister P. Mahender Reddy had also promised to intervene into the matter and referred the matter to the Transport Commissioner. However, the State Government is yet to come out with proper guidelines to regular the aggregators like Uber and Ola. He said besides regulating the aggregators, the State Government should take stern action against the corporate fraud committed by Uber and Ola managements wherein they lured and cheated thousands of drivers by promising huge incentives.
TCOWA president Venkatesh Goud said that the drivers would be forced to intensify their agitation if the authorities fail to take action agaisnt the Uber and Ola managements. He said that the livelihood of nearly one lakh families was dependent on this issue. He said that all travel, tourism and drivers’ associations in Telangana were united on this issue and they would launch a joint and massive agitation if the authorities fail to protect the interest of drivers. The drivers participated in the hunger strike from 10 am to 5 pm. Those who participated in the hunger strike include TSCBOA Vice-President Ram Kumar, TCOWA General Secretary Rajashekar Reddy and other office bearers. (NSS)