The strike by drivers of app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber was finally called off on Monday after a contingent of protesting drivers met with Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and submitted a memorandum of their demands.
The chief minister has assured that the governing committee under the leadership of Transport secretary will intervene and take necessary steps.
The drivers had assembled at Bharat Mata Junction from where they were supposed to hold a march to Vidhan Bhavan. However, the protest came to an end at Azad Maidan after the delegation of protesters were restricted from going ahead. Nearly 300 drivers participated in this protest that led to complete traffic disarray in the nearby locations of BMC headquarters as the protestors, wearing Gandhi caps, raised slogans like ‘Uber, Ola wapis jao (Uber, Ola go back)’.
Soon after the protest, a delegation of about 12 representatives headed by NCP leader Sachin Ahir and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Dhananjay Munde along with members of the Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh (MRRKS) went to meet the CM.
During the meeting, the delegation was assured that a committee will be formed under the leadership of the state transport secretary who will look into the demands of the agitated drivers and reach a feasible solution for the cab service aggregators.
General secretary of MRRKS, Govindrao Mohite addressed to the press saying that the honourable CM has heard their demands and assured them to form a committee that will introspect the matter following the conclusion of the ongoing session of the state legislative assembly. This led them to withdraw the strike on an immediate basis.
The drivers were agitated as they alleged that their companies did not even pay them the incentives that were promised following the talks earlier.
The MRRKS which was spearheading the protest has also demanded that the use of leased company vehicles that eats into their business should be curtailed.
Uber, in an official statement clearly stated that the frequent ups and downs in the fuel prices had forced them to change the fare mechanism and subsequently, the rate per KM has been increased by Re 1. The union members, however, demanded such a minor change in the fare will not make much difference in their monthly earnings and therefore holds no viability in their eyes.