The strike began at midnight on Sunday, centred on Mumbai and was called by Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) transport wing - Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena. Despite the smaller number of cabs on the road, the commute has remained bearable for most cities, except Mumbai. Varchas Srinivas, an IT official who frequently uses the service, said, "I work in Magarpatta city and reside in Bavdhan". The fare for a journey from Thane to CSMT (Fort area) was around Rs 1,250 on UberGO while a share cab fare was more than Rs 1,000 for the same route.
The strike has been called primarily because drivers aren't earning enough to make ends meet despite working for long hours every day. While some users are able to get a ride on Uber, Ola-loyalists are largely left in the lurch with no cabs available. "We have been listening to our driver partners all along and are committed to ensuring that Uber remains an attractive entrepreneurial opportunity for them".
A driver who made a decision to run his taxi despite the strike faced the ire of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Nitin Nandgaonkar who broke the vehicle's windshield.
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Suresh Bansode, a registered Ola cab driver said, "I have to work today as well because I am an employee of OLA".
The decision about the strike will be taken after that. Traffic has been thin on Mumbai roads despite it being a Monday.
Thousands of Mumbai commuters were severely hit as more than 80,000 drivers of Ola and Uber went on strike. He claimed the companies were forcing drivers into debt through their policies, leading to banks repossessing vehicles when they defaulting on loans. "While the companies claim that drivers are their partners, they are not given appropriate remuneration or financial benefits", said Naik. A meeting was held between MNS representatives and an Ola branch manager in the presence of the police late on Monday evening. And it has been decided that Ola will give the names of senior officers to whom we can discuss and negotiate on the issue. "Till then, our strike will continue", Mr. Naik said. The Andheri police detained 16 protestors from outside the Ola office in Andheri when they tried to stop such vehicles.
Other taxi unions, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union, have extended support to the strike called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena.