The rising cost of petrol and diesel due to increase in crude oil prices globally along with a weak rupee is the latest setback for drivers already operating on thin margins
New Delhi: Drivers of cab aggregators Ola and Uber went on strike in Delhi and Mumbai on Monday demanding higher fare to meet rising fuel costs.
The rising cost of petrol and diesel due to increasing crude oil prices globally along with a weak rupee is the latest setback for drivers already operating on thin margins. Their incomes have plunged over the past two years after Uber and Ola cut incentives to boost profitability.
The operators while protesting said the rising petrol and diesel prices were eating into their incomes while their salaries have not gone up. Fuel prices in India have risen more than 20% since the start of the year, but drivers say fares have not grown at the same rate.
“Our companies have reduced the fares while we are paying a lot more due to rising fuel prices. They don’t understand the issues drivers face,” said Sunil Borkar, secretary at Mumbai taxi drivers’ union Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh.
Borkar said there have been calls from some drivers for an indefinite strike in Mumbai.
Uber issued a statement and said: “We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community, due to a small group of individuals.” It is committed to ensuring that drivers “continue to access a stable income”, it added.
Ola did not respond to an email seeking comments.
In both cities, passengers said they had to wait longer than normal for Uber and Ola cars.
At a protest outside Uber’s office in Mumbai, dozens of drivers held up placards with messages including “Uber go back” and “Ola is the biggest thief” while shouting slogans like “down with Uber”, as quoted by a Reuters report.
In Delhi, the Ola-Uber strike was exacerbated by a separate stoppage by fuel pump owners demanding the city government cut the price of petrol and diesel in line with neighbouring states.
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Last Updated Oct 23, 2018, 12:20 PM IST