Ser­vices Dis­rupted in Ben­galuru as Cab Drivers In­ten­sify Strike

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

Ben­galuru: Ola and Uber ser­vices in the city were dis­rupted as drivers in­ten­si­fied their ag­i­ta­tion against cab ag­gre­ga­tors for a fall in their monthly re­mu­ner­a­tion. While a sec­tion of drivers protested peace­fully — by of­fer­ing flow­ers to other drivers who were work­ing — a 50-strong group at­tacked Uber’s of­fice at HSR lay­out with stones.

The ag­i­ta­tion is ex­pected to con­tinue on Thurs­day. Drivers, who picked up the ag­i­ta­tion from last week, al­leged that Ola and Uber had failed to meet their de­mands. Last week, two protest­ing drivers at­tempted sui­cide out­side Ola’s of­fice in Mu­rugesh­palya.

With a num­ber of cabs off the roads, reg­u­lar users sought au­torick­shaws and buses for their com­mute. And, au­torick­shaw drivers made a killing. “I paid three times more for the auto from Kanaka­pura road to Many­ata Tech Park. This is hap­pen­ing the third time in two weeks,” Reshma Prasad, said.

No as­so­ci­a­tion claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for van­dal­is­ing Uber’s of­fice. Tan­veer Pasha, pres­i­dent of Ola, Tax­iForSure, Uber (OTU) Drivers and Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said they were protest­ing in dif­fer­ent parts of the city ‘in a very peace­ful man­ner.’ About 30,000 drivers from the as­so­ci­a­tion stay away from op­er­at­ing their cabs, he said. “The trans­port de­part­ment had called griev­ance meet twice this month. Uber did not at­tend any meet­ing. Nei­ther are they in­ter­ested in talk­ing to us,” a protest­ing driver said.

Se­cu­rity guards pre­vent­ing drivers from en­ter­ing the of­fice had re­sulted in drivers throw­ing stones at the of­fice’s glass-front, he said. Ear­lier, the protesters broke the CCTV cam­eras.

An of­fi­cial state­ment from Uber said: “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 be­hav­iour. 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.”

A 50-strong group at­tacked Uber’s of­fice with stones

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