Ola and Uber drivers held a strike on Monday the 23rd of Jan to protest the fact that cab aggregators are now demanding three times as much commission from their drivers, per ride.
Previously, Ola and Uber demanded around 10% of the commissions per ride from their drivers, which was acceptable and business continued on as usual. In a recent announcement, however, cab aggregators Ola and Uber are now demanding up to 30% of a driver’s earnings per ride as commission to be paid to the company.
Being a large part of the low-income population in Bangalore (which, ironically, keeps the medium and high income segments functioning) cab drivers are understandably furious at this decision that offers no benefit to them, but instead takes more money out of their pockets to add to the million dollar profits of cab aggregator companies.
Drivers gathered in groups around Freedom Park, Bangalore International Airport and Mekhri Circle to protest this decision and have their demands at least heard, if not met, but Ola and Uber have declined to even hear them out, insisting that they get back to work or face termination.
According to Mr. Tanveer, a co-ordinator for a drivers’ union in the city, Ola and Uber are stalling any kind of dialogue with their drivers by making them “run around in circles” by making protesting drivers submit their grievances individually, rejecting those submissions, and making drivers submit their grievances as a group. He went on to state that no representative from either company has approached them, and are in fact threatening police action against drivers on strike.
An Uber spokesperson made an announcement stating their regret that such a thing has come to pass, and that the company remains committed to ensuring that their drivers are able to access a decent income, but the lack of interaction with their own drivers says otherwise.
Representatives from Ola and Uber have declined to comment on resolutions to this issue.