Uber's new rival in Australia: An Indian upstart Ola

Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers but today they are unable to cover their costs claim the drivers | File

"We will not take part in the strike since earnings are more important for the drivers", Tanveer Pasha, president, Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers' and Owners' Association told DH. "We have the support of almost 80,000 drivers, who will go offline at midnight. While the companies claim that drivers are their partners, they are not given appropriate remuneration or financial benefits", said Naik. Fares in Ola, though, relatively lower as compared to Uber, also witnessed an increase by Rs 50 in some routes.

The strike would hit operations in major metro cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune among others. Smaller cities have low prices and to add to that the comfort, ease and security of these cabs has resulted in a rapid expansion of these services. Also, amid the rivalry between Ola and Uber, the fare per kilometre has dropped from Rs 10 to Rs 6.

The protest by the Uber and Ola cabs in city from Monday, will not affect the city commuters because the cab drivers are just doing a symbolic protest by wearing a black badge, black cap or black shirt while performing their duties. The drivers had last staged a strike in September previous year against lower income returns received from mobile app-based companies.

Earlier, Naik had told The Indian Express that at least 80,000 drivers will support the strike.

An excutive of one of the cab aggregators, who did not want to be named, said there has been no official communication from any driver about the strike. "If he does not listen, we may handle the issue Maharashtra Navnirman Sena-style".

Salisbury spy scandal will not affect Russian presidential election
Commission chief Ella Pamfilova said: "We are immediately reacting to all claims, no matter where they come from". In Saint Petersburg, Antonina Kurchatova, 40, said she voted for Putin but was hoping things would not get worse.

The protestors are claiming that the taxi-hailing companies are giving first priority to company-owned cars and not driver-owned vehicles, which is causing a slump in their business.

If their demands were not met they would be going ahead with the strike as expected, he had indicated.

Meanwhile, the police has issued notices to union leaders under section 149 of CrPC relating to unlawful assembly.

Speaking to DNA, an OLA spokesperson said, "We have been informed by the Mumbai Police that they have proactively taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of commuters during their cab rides in the city".

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