Cab-Aggregators Raise Voice against Betrayal & Cheating by Ola-Uber Companies
Mangaluru: Seems like it is never ending problems for the cab drivers of Ola & Uber companies. Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, B K Imthiyaz, the president of the Dakshina Kannada District Online Taxi Drivers and Owners Association said, “We have been betrayed and cheated in various aspects by our Cab companies. Many of the offers promised by both the companies to us are all in vain. Even though we have been operating for the last three years, we have not made any income nor saved any money. Many of us have even leased our vehicles, unable to pay the bank loans. Whatever incentives that were promised to us by both the Companies have not been received by us”.
“We have learnt that both the companies are trying to employ youngsters promising them good incentives and benefits, and many youths are accepting the gauntlet by taking up the cab drivers jobs. This has hurt us to earn our bread and butter. Also with not much of income coming in, it has been hard to repay bank loans taken on our cars. And since both the companies have tied up deals with Hyundai and Tata Motors in order to increase their fleet of cars, which has ultimately put us in soup. Every now and then, we face a lot of inconveniences since the companies make changes in their rate plans frequently and also deduction in incentives. We are asking for uniformity in the incentives, but both the companies are very much reluctant to agree to our pleas” added Imthiyaz.
He further said, ” We are not allowed to pick up passengers from the Airport nor railway stations- we can only drop the passengers. This is not right. And sometimes when our clients book online to pick them up from the Airport/Railway station, and due to the local restriction put on us, we can’t offer them services- which results in getting suspended for a couple of days by the companies as per their rules. We are demanding better remuneration structures, relief from long work hours, and a cut in the rate of commission payable to the companies”.
“And also we demand that all the extra vehicles added recently be taken off the road and that a proper rate plan is fixed immediately. We also want both the companies to provide us better security, for the fact we have been threatened and harassed by the local drivers- and in spite of that police have not taken any action on them. Through this press meet we want to send a message to Ola and Uber, if our demands are not agreed by them within a week, we will intensify our protest by launching an indefinite strike,” concluded Imthiyaz.
It is learnt that both Ola and Uber drivers typically pay the companies a 10% commission on every ride. However, in the last few months, Uber and Ola have hiked the rates to 30%, leaving little with the drivers. Drivers for the past several months have been demanding that Ola and Uber do away with flat rates and other offers which are not benefiting them, but the companies have ignored their demands.
Sources reveal that India’s ride-hailing market is expected to touch $7 billion by 2020. However, the lack of rules over pricing and driver remuneration continue to pose a regulatory hurdle for the sector. To build up a fleet, the companies initially showered the drivers with generous compensation and perks. However, with the number of vehicles growing, drivers’ earnings have dipped.