The Ola and Uber drivers’ strike has walked into its 5th day on Tuesday, and according to reports, 95% of such cabs remained off the streets of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). This meant that the business of these two taxi services to drop down by 90%. The drivers have been complaining about the unfair pricing and bad working conditions, and that has opened up some innate problems in how Uber and Ola function. The drivers have been protesting against the lowering of their incentives and commissions for driving the cabs.
And while many of us do not have a clear view of why the strike was called, let us take a look at what it is all about:
1) According to reports by Scroll, drivers complain that these taxi companies had initially lured them in the business with promises incentives of up to Rs 90,000 per month. One such driver says that the company had told him that even after paying his monthly instalments, he would still be able to earn Rs 40,000-50,000 per month.
2) The drivers complain that all the promises have gone off in the thin air since 2015 when the terms of the services have changed to their disadvantages.
3)According to reports, the cab fare has gone down from Rs 10-Rs 8/km to Rs 6-Rs 4/km, while the drivers do not get any share in the surge prices. The drivers further complain that their company commission, an amount that is deducted from their daily income by the cab companies has gone 10% to 20-25%.
4) Ola cab drivers have complained that the company deducts Rs 500 from their earnings if the consumer files a complaint. The problem that lies here is that the company does not have a concrete or transparent method to judge if the driver was actually at fault and could be responsible for the circumstances that the complaint was lodged against. Drivers complain that their earning has fallen to 1/10th of what it was in 2015, due to reduced rates, and regular deductions due to penalties, causing them to be unable to pay their next loan instalment.
5) Cab companies take little or no responsibility if and when the police impounds the cars, irrespective of the circumstances that are involved.
Drivers say that if they earned Rs 2,000 a day in 2015, they now take home just Rs 250 to Rs 200 a day for the same hours of work. This forces them to work longer hours, with some staying logged in for 18 hours to 20 hours at a stretch. Drivers have been unable to pay their instalments and are on the verge of bankruptcy.