Several Uber drivers took to the streets of Visakhapatnam on Tuesday to protest against their 'exploitation' by the company, and demanding a higher commission for their services.
Holding placards and raising slogans, protesters descended on the Gandhi Statue, opposite the main office of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).
"An autorickshaw driver easily takes home nearly Rs 1,500 per day by just working for 10 hours a day, but we are not able to earn even Rs 1,000 in a day despite putting in 10 to 15 hours of work with Uber," one of the drivers was quoted as saying.
The Uber drivers also claimed that their income had come down to Rs 15,000 a month, from Rs 60,000 a month in 2015, when they had begun operations.
â€śThe payment is currently made once in 7-10 days. We demand daily compensation from the company. Earlier, there were many incentives but now there are none due to heavy competition,â€ť a cab driver told DC.
The protesting drivers also demanded an increase in the base fare to Rs 100.
While this is the first major protest by Uber drivers in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad has already witnessed several such demonstrations.
In February last year, large-scale protests broke out, after a 34-year-old man committed suicide in Hyderabad, allegedly after he failed to pay his vehicle EMI for four months. Praveen Kumar was an Uber driver, and consumed poison.
Praveenâ€™s death had come even as striking cab drivers in Hyderabad, under the aegis of Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA), protested at Jubilee Hills checkpost, against the managements of taxi-aggregators Ola and Uber.
Alleging that they were cheated, nearly 200 drivers of the TCDOA took to the streets, begging for money from the public. The protestors were also semi-nude, to 'highlight' their situation.
The protestors managed to collect Rs 450, before the police swooped in and took 35 drivers into preventive custody. However, they were released later.