It is the season of strikes!
On a typical day, people would suffer badly if 40% of the cabs stay off the road. But when Ola-Uber drivers went on strike on the first day of September this year, it reportedly caused a “minor inconvenience” as India was still opening up in phases after months of Covid-19-induced lockdowns and most people were working from home.
As more than two lakh drivers working with ride-hailing companies, Ola and Uber, went on strike demanding a better deal, we largely ignored it, as commuters did not face too much inconvenience. Strikes like this one have been happening off and on since 2017 after an Uber driver committed suicide as he was unable to pay off his car loan due to dwindling income.
“After staying logged in for 15-16 hours, one may earn INR 1,500. If you deduct the CNG bill of INR 500-600 and the cost of food and cigarettes, you are left with INR 700. Nothing is left out of that money after household expenses are paid. How would one pay EMIs?” asks Parkash Mishra, a driver based in Noida who used to work for Ola and Uber.