Ola, Uber officials to meet drivers’ union to end cab strike

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New Delhi: In an attempt to resolve the ongoing taxi strike, an authorised signatory from Ola and Uber will hold a meeting with taxi union Sarvodaya Driver Association, which has been accused of blocking services of drivers of app-based aggregators who did not wish to be part of the ongoing strike.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, who was hearing the matter, also requested the joint commissioner of the traffic police or any other person of similar rank nominated by him to ensure that drivers having contracts with Ola or Uber, who do not wish to join the strike, not be disrupted from plying on the roads and that their vehicles not damaged.

Sarvodaya Driver Association told the court that it was peacefully protesting after having obtained the requisite permission and not disrupting services of taxi aggregators.

“There have been numerous incidents of hooliganism where the driver union has stopped drivers from plying on the roads. There should be some mechanism for enforcing the court’s earlier order restraining them from doing so,” said Rajiv Nayyar, counsel for Uber.

Several unions and thousands of drivers have been on strike since 10 February in the National Capital Region against app-based aggregators, demanding an increase in fares from the existing Rs6 per km and also discontinue the 25% commission app-based aggregators charge on every booking. The unions have also demanded an immediate end to ride sharing services and a hike in per kilometre rates.

The court was hearing two pleas by ride hailing companies, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd which runs Ola and Uber cabs who had come to court against driver unions Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi and Rajdhani Tourist Driver Union, alleging they were disrupting services of taxi drivers who had not joined the strike.

Ola had claimed that striking drivers had blocked their cabs, pulled out drivers and removed the mobile devices installed in them.

Earlier in the week, the court, in an interim order, granted relief to Uber and Ola cabs by restraining anyone, including the two drivers’ unions, from interfering in the operation or hampering the services of the taxi aggregators. He had sought response from them on the issue before the next hearing.

The court had also restrained the unions or anyone acting on their behalf from removing or confiscating the mobile devices installed in the cabs run by Ola and Uber.

It further restrained the unions, their officials, or anyone acting on their behalf, from protesting within 500 metres of Ola offices at Vasant Kunj and Gurugram.

The move comes after similar strikes in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, with drivers demanding better benefits, accident insurance and relaxed hours for targets.