Close to 40,000 commuters in Mumbai have been stranded after drivers of taxi aggregators Ola and Uber decided to go on strike since October 22.
This strike has been called under the banner of Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh, which has been demanding an increase in fare from Rs 6 per km to Rs 18 per km.
The union is planning to meet Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and the state transport minister to find a solution to their issues.
Mumbai is among the top five markets for taxi aggregators and therefore it's important for taxi aggregators to resolve the crisis at the earliest.
Taxi aggregators have not officially been coming on record on this issue, but have been negotiating with driver partners over the last week.
Uber had approached the Bombay High Court last week, citing violence against its drivers from those holding the strike and asked authorities to ensure their safety.
Maharashtra has seen several strikes played out over the last couple of months owing to the strong taxi unions in the state.
Rising fuel costs and discounts to customers has made it difficult to operate, say drivers. They are also questioning the dynamic commission structure that Ola and Uber are operating on.
Cab aggregators are of the view that commissions have been stable at about 20 percent. Faced by dwindling earnings, drivers are struggling to repay their vehicle loans.
Owing to the huge incentives, drivers used to earn anywhere between Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 a month earlier. Therefore, paying EMI (equated monthly installment)was not a challenge.
But now, earnings have come down by almost half, said drivers. Unless service providers accept the demands of protesting drivers, the strike is unlikely to end.
First Published: IST