Gig workers held a 24-hour strike in Pune on October 18 and announced plans for another protest in the city on October 25
In Mumbai, cab aggregators took part in a protest, seeking improved labour laws and higher wages
Meanwhile, the general public continued to suffer as users could not book cabs or order food due to the strike
Gig workers across Pune and Mumbai took to the streets, demanding ‘proper’ labour laws and a set of rules to protect the rights of delivery workers.
As per Punekar News, gig workers, including drivers with cab aggregators and delivery workers, held a 24-hour strike in Pune on Wednesday (October 18). The cab and auto unions also announced another symbolic strike to press the government for their rights on October 25.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, cab aggregators, along with auto and taxi drivers, also took part in a protest earlier today (October 19) at Terminal 2 of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
As per reports, the Mumbai drivers are demanding a slew of reforms from the government including:
- Implementation of the Centre’s 2020 aggregator guidelines
- Creation of offices in Mumbai where gig workers can file their grievances
- Framing of rules to protect the rights of delivery workers
- Creation of a welfare board for gig workers
- Creation of a regularised parking system for app-based taxis near the airport
- Reduction in the penalties levied by traffic police
Meanwhile, the leader of a Mumbai taxi union, Taufiq Shaikh, has warned authorities that the protests will be undertaken yet again if the demands are not met.
In Pune, gig workers, especially Ola and Uber drivers, have reportedly sought better working conditions, more rights and promulgation of the ‘Cab Aggregators Act’. Maharashtra App-Based Transport Workers Union (MAT) president Prashant Sawardekar told Medianama that the Pune protests were part of a state-wide initiative by a Joint Action Committee of various app-based and regular cab drivers to demand rights from the government.
President of the Baghtoy Rickshawaala Union Keshav Kshirsagar told Times of India that Maharashtra, despite being home to the largest number of gig workers in the country, was yet to formulate regulations to govern the local gig economy.
“We demand that these laws be framed in the upcoming winter session and released for the workers. We approached the district administration workers earlier on this issue, but no action has been initiated yet. We will initiate the further course of action if the state government fails,” Kshirsagar added.
As per Baghtoy Rickshawaala Union, the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad belt accounts for 1.45 Lakh gig workers, including nearly 80,000 cab drivers and 25,000 food delivery workers.
The gig workers in Pune are also protesting the ban imposed by local transport authorities on app-based auto rickshaw services.
Amid this, the general public suffered in Mumbai as users could not book cabs. On the other hand, Pune residents could neither order food nor book cabs.
The gig workers are demanding a slew of sops on the lines of what was announced by the Rajasthan government earlier this year, including plans to set up an INR 200 Cr welfare fund and enactment of the Gig Workers Welfare Act.