Discontented driver-partners of cab aggregators Ola and Uber continued to protest on Thursday and thousands of drivers refused to work. Some even threatened to set their vehicles on fire if the authorities failed to respond.
This strike, unlike the previous ones, had most of the cab drivers participate. The apps were either not functioning or indicated that the driver would take a long time to reach the pick-up spot.
According to Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola, Uber and TaxiForSure Drivers’ Association, around 50,000 to 1 lakh cabs went off the roads.
“We have been airing our grievances for months now and the companies and transport authorities have ignored us and are unresponsive. This is an indefinite strike. They think that if they attend a few meetings and ask for time by making false promises, they can stop the protest. We will not stop the protest,” Pasha added.
Ola had issued an apology to its users on the app and had promised commuters that the issue would be resolved soon.
“We will set the cabs on fire at busy intersections and also in the middle of roads if even after two days, we don’t get any favourable response. Banks will definitely seize the vehicles as most drivers have been unable to pay EMIs. We are not scared of setting it on fire,” Pasha said.
Drivers allege that Ola and Uber have not met the transport commissioner or the drivers even after two Ola drivers attempted suicide outside the office last week.
Transport commissioner, MK Aiyappa, told TOI that the companies have been directed to meet the drivers’ union and resolve the issues immediately.
"We're sorry that our service has been disrupted in Bangalore. We're aware of isolated reports of threats and intimidation from a small group of people. We again call on the authorities to put an end to this illegal behavior. We are committed to ensuring that drivers who wish to work are able to do so, and riders can get from A to B conveniently, reliably and safely," Uber said in an email statement.