Cab drivers for Ola and Uber went on strike in Chennai yesterday, demanding that the government intervene so that app-based cab aggregators stop charging them exorbitant commissions. They are hoping that the government will help to ensure fare regulation so that drivers can earn more money while commuters pay fixed rates.
The strike has been called by the All India Road Transport Workers Federation and the Tamil Nadu Urimai Kural Driver Trade Union to draw attention to the drivers’ plight. They also want bike taxis to be prohibited in the state because they are reducing their revenue.
The two-day strike has already disrupted normal life in Chennai, with some auto drivers taking advantage of commuters’ helplessness, profiting from the lack of cabs and charging exorbitant rates for short distances. Protesters plan to demonstrate at transport department offices in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, and other cities today, October 17.
The protesting drivers want to know why Tamil Nadu hasn’t banned bike taxis, despite the fact that Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have.
Chennai is said to have 70,000 autos and more than 60,000 people on the streets.
Protesters want adequate rules in place because only regulation will ensure fixed fares for passengers and higher earnings for drivers.
The taxi workers’ union has been advocating for the Tamil Nadu government to implement an app that would provide aggregator services.