Drivers allege that earlier they were offered a weekly package of US$188, but it has now been withdrawn
Around 25,00 drivers contracted to various online taxi-hailing companies, including Ola and Uber, in the south Indian city of Kochi are today launching an indefinite strike, demanding revision of wages and restoration of benefits, according to a report by The Hindu.
Drivers allege the online cab booking giants have withdrawn various attractive empanelment packages offered to them, which is affecting their earnings.
According to TRS Kumar, President of All Kerala Online Taxi Drivers Union, companies including Ola and Uber had earlier offered a weekly package of INR 12,500 (US$188) to the drivers, but it has now been revised to pay based on the trips conducted.
“It has now been revised again, in a way that is of no help to the drivers. These days the drivers are paid variable weekly wages which is unacceptable,” Kumar told the The Hindu.
He also says that while home-grown major Ola has agreed to discuss the issue with drivers, Uber is no no mood to relent.
In addition to the wage issues, the drivers are also demanding employment security and pro-labour policies of online taxi services.
While Kochi is a relatively smaller city compared to Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai, the online taxi booking space has seen steady growth over the past two years — thanks to an influx of foreign as well as domestic tourists. Apart from major players such as Ola and Uber, small-time players like Keralataxi.com and Taxiio are also operating in the Kochi.
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