The drivers working for Ola and Uber had gone on strike on February 10th, 2017. This 13 days long strike has come to an end on Thursday. Though the strike was partially called off as five out of six driver unions in the strike had backed off on Sunday, February 12, after meeting with the Delhi Transport Minister, Satyendra Jain. He agreed to fulfil some of the demands of the drivers, because of which some driver unions like Commercial Drivers Union, East Delhi Driver Ekta Union, Delhi NCR Radio Taxi Union, Rajdhani Tourist Driver Union stopped supporting the strike.
The Strike called off till February 27
Even though the strike seemed to losing stream since last three days, the strike of the Ola and Uber drivers under the leadership of the Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi(SDAD) has now officially come to an end till February 27, 2017. According to SDAD, the government and the companies(Ola and Uber) have agreed to fulfil most of their demands and therefore, the strike has been called off by the drivers till February 27th, 2017.
“The companies have agreed to increase the existing fare of Rs 6 per kilometre. Besides, they have agreed that the penalty of R 500 won’t be imposed on drivers under the Driver Denied Duty (DDD) rule.” said the SDAD President, Kamaljeet Gill. He also added that in case their demands are not considered and fulfilled by the government or the companies, they will start another strike.
Assurance from the government and the companies
The decision to call off the strike was taken after a meeting on Thursday with the government, that continued for around four hours, in which the companies and the government assured the Ola and Uber representatives that their demands will be fulfilled. As per a senior government official, the companies have taken time till February 28th, when they will give their assurance regarding the same and will listen to the drivers about their demands.
“The companies assured drivers’ union to work on their demands shortly and will give their assurance to the High Court on February 28, when it will hear drivers and cab aggregators. The Delhi government has assured the drivers of their welfare, particularly those harassed without having been given an opportunity to be heard by the companies,” the government said in a statement.
Reason of strike
The strike was called against low fares and lack of basic facilities that the companies refused to provide the drivers. The demands due to which the strike had begun include better benefits, relaxation in working hours, accident insurance, higher pay and increase in the per kilometer fares that are currently Rs. 6 per kilometer. It was also demanded that the toll charges at borders are removed, on which the government said that the issue will be raised with the municipal corporation.
Responses of the companies
When Ola representative was asked about the response of the company, the company refused to give any comments, but an Uber representative said, “We participated in the meeting convened by the Delhi government and reiterated that individual drivers can come to us at any time to raise concerns. We condemn the violent protests carried out by striking unions which not only affected passengers but also kept drivers away from earning an honest living.”