Uber, Ola strike: Delhi HC stops taxi unions from disrupting non-striking cabbies

Ramarko Sengupta February 13, 2017

The Delhi High Court on Monday passed an order prohibiting Uber and Ola taxi unions striking in Delhi from stopping other non-striking drivers on the cab aggregator platforms from running their cabs.

Drivers who were not part of the strike were being intercepted by striking union members and being forced to go off the roads, leading to a scarcity in the supply of cabs, an Uber driver told FactorDaily, requesting anonymity.

Uber and Ola unions in Delhi have been striking since Friday demanding better perks and accident insurance, among other things, from the cab aggregators. They also want the companies to stop adding new cars to their fleet, put an end to ride-sharing services, and hike the minimum rate from the current Rs 6 per kilometre. Bengaluru and Hyderabad also saw similar strikes recently.

Drivers who were not part of the strike were being intercepted by striking union members and being forced to go off the roads, leading to a scarcity in the supply of cabs  

Uber welcomed the court order “which prohibits unions, their leaders and anybody else from obstructing the activities of Uber driver partners as they go about their business.” “We hope it will enable drivers to get back behind the wheel, something many have been telling us they wish to do,” an Uber spokesperson said.

A screenshot of the Uber app on Monday evening

Uber had moved the Delhi High Court against the strike on Monday.

The court order phrases itself as a “Temporary injunction restraining the Unions and its leaders (including their representatives, followers, persons under instructions) from stopping / blocking the cars of the driver partners of the Plaintiffs (Uber) or removing / confiscating the devices installed in those cars including in any manner hampering, obstructing, interfering in the legitimate business of the Plaintiffs.” The order also bars unions and their representatives from “inciting and exciting others against the Plaintiffs, their business, their driver partners.”

Uber welcomed the court order “which prohibits unions, their leaders and anybody else from obstructing the activities of Uber driver partners as they go about their business”  

The strike was partially called off on Sunday after five unions agreed to run taxis following assurance by the state government that most of their demands would be fulfilled. However, Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, which claims to represent nearly 1.5 lakh drivers working with either Ola or Uber, continued the strike.

It was nearly impossible through most of Monday — even at time of publishing this story late evening — to hail an Uber or Ola cab in the capital. The wait time showing on the apps was around 20-25 minutes and fares nearly double the normal rate owing to the scarcity. Most attempts at booking a cab result in a ‘No cabs available’ message.

Ola representatives were not available to comment on the situation.


               

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