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Ola drivers call off strike in Mumbai, Uber drivers continue stir

SNS | New Delhi |

Ola drivers called off their three-day-long stir in Mumbai late on Wednesday. Uber drivers, however, are still on strike.

Around 80,000 drivers from the two cab aggregators had gone on strike on 19 March over a series of issues, including low returns.

According to reports, Ola drivers, who have been protesting under Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena (MNVS) – an affiliate of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), held talks with the app-based cab service operator.

Among the demands accepted, Ola has reportedly given a written commitment to review the cases of drivers blacklisted by the taxi aggregator. In a statement issued by the operator, Ola offered an apology for the inconvenience to its customers “for factors beyond its control”.

MNVS claimed it as a “victory” for the “owner-operators”.

The group had stated that the drivers will go on an indefinite strike if the demands are not met. Sanjay Naik, President of MNVS, had said that both Ola and Uber had promised big returns of more than Rs 1.25 lakh per month to the cab drivers who invested between Rs 5-7 lakh.

According to Naik, almost 90 to 95 per cent of Ola and Uber drivers in Mumbai participated in the strike on the third day. Police arrested 15 people from across Mumbai for damaging cars during the protests, but Naik claimed that agitating drivers did not hurl stones on Ola and Uber cabs plying on the roads.

Uber officials will meanwhile be meeting the protesting drivers on Thursday.

The strike hit life in Mumbai hard as commuters had a tough time reaching their destinations, especially those travelling to and from the airport, railway station and place of work. Reports indicate that the absence of Ola and Uber from the streets allowed the traditional black-and-yellow cabs to charge extra fare from hapless commuters.