MNS drives Uber, Ola to Marathi with eye on polls

MUMBAI: The transport wing of Raj Thackeray‘s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena () has got aggregator firms to concede to the use of for driver contracts and on cab stickers after a four-day-long strike it organised among in Mumbai.
Playing on the ‘Marathi manoos‘ card once again to revive the party‘s fortunes in the state, the MNS transport union claimed to have wrested a few concessions including reinstatement of blacklisted drivers and better incentives to augment monthly earnings.

Uber on Thursday announced it will provide Uber driver partners agreements in Marathi and the Uber logo in Marathi to drivers who request them. This was part of an undertaking given to the union, after which the strike was called off. The ending of the stir by drivers of Uber and Ola (a day earlier) brought respite to office-goers and travellers at the domestic/international airports. The fleets are now expected to at full strength from Friday.

“Compulsory introduction of Marathi was a key demand by MNS,” said union president Sanjay Naik, who along with other leaders met Uber officials for two hours at Ghatkopar police station in the presence of senior police inspector Vyankat Patil in the afternoon. Naik said Uber officials were positive on most demands but MNS wanted everything in writing. Uber officials gave the union a letter stating they will look into most demands in the evening, he said.

“They agreed to reinstate blacklisted drivers provided they don‘t have pending criminal records,” he said. Another union leader, Nitin Nandgaonkar, said driver earnings and incentives were discussed too. “They agreed to discuss it with Uber‘s all-India head and revert to MNS within 15 days. They agreed to a few other demands, including removal of bouncers from Uber offices, introducing Marathi for driver contracts and ensuring drivers get paid as per actual distance travelled,” he said.

Commuters, elated that the Ola strike was called off a day earlier, were unable to make bookings during morning peak hours. Uber stated, “We met a delegation of driver partners and continue to engage with driver partners on a one-on-one basis. We heard their concerns and took note of the feedback. We remain committed to serving the city.”

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.