The ongoing battle between Uber–Ola and the driver partners hit a speed bump on February 23, 2017 after the Delhi Government intervened in the matter. After 13 days, the strike by the Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association of Delhi (SDAD) was finally called off.
The government earlier this week assured the parties involved that it cannot resolve the conflict but will provide a platform between both companies and drivers where the latter would be able to raise their issues.
On February 10, 2017, the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi had first called for a strike. The drivers were demanding better perks, accident insurance, to be paid as per government sanctioned fare i.e. INR 21/km, among other things.
According to sources close to the development, the meeting that went on for over two hours saw representatives from both the cab aggregators and the drivers’ association. It concluded with the cab aggregators seeking time till February 27, 2017 to resolve these issues.
Talking about the meeting an Uber spokesperson said, “We participated at a meeting convened by the Delhi Government and reiterated that individual drivers can come to us at any time to raise concerns. We condemn the violent protests carried out by striking unions, which not only harassed driver partners, but also kept them from earning an honest living.”
Meanwhile, the government in a statement said, “The companies assured the drivers’ union to work on their demands shortly and will give their assurance to the High Court on February 28, when it will hear the drivers’ and cab aggregators’ petitions. The Delhi Government has assured the drivers of their welfare, particularly those harassed without having been given an opportunity to be heard by the companies.”
Unrest In Bengaluru Peaks
At the same time the driver protests in Bengaluru took a violent turn, when a few protesters vandalised the Uber office. It was resolved after the Police intervened in the matter.
While cab availability in NCR slowly resumed to normal, cab services in Bengaluru came to a halt for a second day. Commenting on this matter. an Uber spokesperson said, “We’re sorry that our service has been disrupted in Bengaluru. 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.”
The fate of both the protests remains under wraps. Earlier this month, UberPOOL and Ola Share services were deemed illegal in Karnataka. Later, the Karnataka government came to the rescue of the aggregators and gave the companies a 15-day extension to comply with rules regarding ride-sharing services.