Ola drivers withdraw strike, Uber stays agency

MUMBAI: The transport union called off the strike of Ola drivers on Wednesday evening, but the will continue on Thursday.
Among the demands that the MNS put forth to Ola is introduction of Marathi in contracts of drivers and writing ‘Ola‘ in English as well as Marathi on the cabs.

“There are a lot of bhoomiputras (sons of the soil) who are plying cabs and would want to join the trade. They should be given an opportunity to check agreements/contracts in Marathi. Also, the cab should have its logo and stickers in Marathi too,” demanded MNS transport union president . He had discussions with Ola officials in the afternoon in the presence of senior cops at Andheri police station before taking decision to withdraw the stir.

Ola officials, while confirming that drivers will be back on job from Wednesday night, did not give any official statement on use of Marathi language in their official agreements and on cab stickers.

As for , Naik said that a meeting has been organised with the firm officials at a police station in eastern suburbs at 1 pm on Thursday.

Another union leader said, “We appeal to all blacklisted drivers for whom we had gone on strike to register with the MNS union, and this list will be forwarded to Ola. These drivers will be taken back within a fortnight.” Ola officials said drivers would be re-instated provided there is no criminal record.

As for demands for more earnings and incentives for drivers, Naik said the union members were assured by Ola officials that this will be looked into in 15-20 days. “We are giving them three weeks to resolve the issue,‘‘ he stated.

Another union leader, Nitin Nandgaonkar, said Ola officials have been asked to remove the bouncers from Andheri office so that drivers can meet officials without any resistance or intimidation.

Earlier during the protest, nearly 80 cabs were vandalised in the past couple of days in Mumbai and Thane, sources in the aggregator firms said. According to the sources, several drivers were intimidated past two days, asked to stay offline and 35 driver partners had called up to inform that their ‘mobilephones were snatched away to ensure they could not operate on app platform.‘ Sources said that in few cases, unknown persons had even broken eggs inside cabs before running away so that nobody can sit due the stench. The police were informed in 28 such cases, sources said, although Mumbai police said that action has been taken in only one case at Nehru Nagar police station in Kurla East.

“Most of these incidents occurred on Tuesday and till late night. In many cases, the driver partners were petrified and they did not complain to the police,‘‘ said a senior official from an aggregator firm.

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