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Cab drivers demand safety security code from Ola

MAT union condemns Ola company for allegedly erasing an employee records to avoid compensation payment after he was brutally killed

Sabrangindia 31 May 2022

Maharashtra App-based Transport Workers’ Union
Image Courtesy:trak.in

Maharashtra App-based Transport Workers’ Union (MAT) members on May 31, 2022 demanded the implementation of a social security code for private cab drivers in Ola and Uber companies. Failing this, it demanded that the companies cease their work, at least in Maharashtra.

After the recent murder of Ola driver Muhammad Ali in Diva in late May 2022, the driver community is united and up in arms. While  the union thanked the Shil Daighar police station on Tuesday for the speedy arrest of five accused in the murder, it still condemned the company for trying to ‘flash’ the driver’s records.

What is flashing?

Flashing is when the company deletes ride-details and the number of rides taken up by an employee. Doing so often leaves a blank record on driver performances and can lead to some people getting blacklisted. In Muhammad Ali’s case as well, the driver’s records were flashed even though the youth had taken up 3-4 rides that day.

Here, MAT President Sawardekar said the union successfully got a record of his work before it was flashed. This information was submitted to the police as well for finding the accused. According to the union, this tactic is often used by cab companies, be it Ola or Uber, allegedly to claim that the person was not working for the company when a certain incident occurred. This also affects employee compensation.

“As per the accidental insurance assured by Ola, drivers must get ₹ 5 lakh in case of an accident. Here, there was a murder, so they will need to pay much more,” said Sawardekar.

However, he remains sceptical on whether the company will cooperate. He recalled how a Mumbra driver Asif died in an accident in Andheri. The MAT union provided the required documents to the company, yet the family is yet to receive the insurance.

Accordingly, Sawardekar called for a strict investigation against Ola and Uber companies for tampering with details. A crowd of nearly 200 people assembled outside the police station in support of this.

What about driver safety?

Central Line Zone Union leader and MAT member Haider Ali Siddiqui said that the recent incident in Diva highlights the fact that drivers do not have any security.

“When it comes to our security neither Ola, nor the police, nor the government takes responsibility. Our PVC, face id and contact details are given to the customer. We do not know if the administration will stand with us. But people must understand that a driver's life is as important as any other. We ask the government, authorities and the companies in particular, what compensation do you have for us?” he asked.

In Ali’s case, he demanded that the company take responsibility for the compensation. Further, he said that if a driver dies on-duty the companies should provide enough compensation to sustain their children’s welfare for the near-future.

Ali was attacked and assaulted by his drunken customers. However, Ali had no means of sending a distress signal. Union leaders said that unlike the customer SOS signal, the driver’s distress button does not work. Locals claim that this is the fifth incident where a driver – be it a cab driver or an autorickshaw driver – was attacked or murdered.

The lack of an SOS signal or flashing are not the only problems. Other drivers at the protest spoke about how the Ola company does not raise complaint numbers. Instead it asks drivers to note down the time of the complaint. When the drivers enquire after 15 days, they are told there is no data of such grievances.

MAT Treasurer Kiran Anand spoke about how he had a rental booking from Navi Mumbai to Virar. At night, the client completed the ride and the fare had reached around ₹3,350. The client claimed to have paid Ola money when the system showed cash.

On contacting Ola, Anand was advised to drop the ride. However, when he approached the Ola office, he was told that the trip was void even though the company had taken a commission of ₹ 1,500. He only got the money when he approached Sawardekar and the process of unionisation began. 

To ensure justice, on Tuesday afternoon, several Union (MATT) representatives met with senior police officers from Kalwa Division  ACP Venkat Andhale promised to flag the issue of the murdered Ola taxi driver being on duty with the company when he was attacked and done away with.  Police investigations have clearly revealed that the victim was working on the day of the attack because the accused (who had been arrested yesterday) had booked a ride. The MAT will soon approach the labour department and other government authorities with a sustained campaign  calling for a security code of drivers in general and reparation for the slain , Muhammad Ali. Failing this, Sawardekar said an agitation and protest will be organised that will also demand due compensation for Ali’s family. Ali hailed from Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Listen to driver Mohammad Kaifi with six years of experience talk about qorkers' concerns about the lack of safety.

 

Related:

Diva police arrests 5 for murder of Ola-driver, protests follow
A Labour Day befitting India's Constitution
Fuel hike protests to hit Mumbai!
CTUs celebrate success of General strike
Over 20 cr estimated participants in workers General Strike

Cab drivers demand safety security code from Ola

MAT union condemns Ola company for allegedly erasing an employee records to avoid compensation payment after he was brutally killed

Maharashtra App-based Transport Workers’ Union
Image Courtesy:trak.in

Maharashtra App-based Transport Workers’ Union (MAT) members on May 31, 2022 demanded the implementation of a social security code for private cab drivers in Ola and Uber companies. Failing this, it demanded that the companies cease their work, at least in Maharashtra.

After the recent murder of Ola driver Muhammad Ali in Diva in late May 2022, the driver community is united and up in arms. While  the union thanked the Shil Daighar police station on Tuesday for the speedy arrest of five accused in the murder, it still condemned the company for trying to ‘flash’ the driver’s records.

What is flashing?

Flashing is when the company deletes ride-details and the number of rides taken up by an employee. Doing so often leaves a blank record on driver performances and can lead to some people getting blacklisted. In Muhammad Ali’s case as well, the driver’s records were flashed even though the youth had taken up 3-4 rides that day.

Here, MAT President Sawardekar said the union successfully got a record of his work before it was flashed. This information was submitted to the police as well for finding the accused. According to the union, this tactic is often used by cab companies, be it Ola or Uber, allegedly to claim that the person was not working for the company when a certain incident occurred. This also affects employee compensation.

“As per the accidental insurance assured by Ola, drivers must get ₹ 5 lakh in case of an accident. Here, there was a murder, so they will need to pay much more,” said Sawardekar.

However, he remains sceptical on whether the company will cooperate. He recalled how a Mumbra driver Asif died in an accident in Andheri. The MAT union provided the required documents to the company, yet the family is yet to receive the insurance.

Accordingly, Sawardekar called for a strict investigation against Ola and Uber companies for tampering with details. A crowd of nearly 200 people assembled outside the police station in support of this.

What about driver safety?

Central Line Zone Union leader and MAT member Haider Ali Siddiqui said that the recent incident in Diva highlights the fact that drivers do not have any security.

“When it comes to our security neither Ola, nor the police, nor the government takes responsibility. Our PVC, face id and contact details are given to the customer. We do not know if the administration will stand with us. But people must understand that a driver's life is as important as any other. We ask the government, authorities and the companies in particular, what compensation do you have for us?” he asked.

In Ali’s case, he demanded that the company take responsibility for the compensation. Further, he said that if a driver dies on-duty the companies should provide enough compensation to sustain their children’s welfare for the near-future.

Ali was attacked and assaulted by his drunken customers. However, Ali had no means of sending a distress signal. Union leaders said that unlike the customer SOS signal, the driver’s distress button does not work. Locals claim that this is the fifth incident where a driver – be it a cab driver or an autorickshaw driver – was attacked or murdered.

The lack of an SOS signal or flashing are not the only problems. Other drivers at the protest spoke about how the Ola company does not raise complaint numbers. Instead it asks drivers to note down the time of the complaint. When the drivers enquire after 15 days, they are told there is no data of such grievances.

MAT Treasurer Kiran Anand spoke about how he had a rental booking from Navi Mumbai to Virar. At night, the client completed the ride and the fare had reached around ₹3,350. The client claimed to have paid Ola money when the system showed cash.

On contacting Ola, Anand was advised to drop the ride. However, when he approached the Ola office, he was told that the trip was void even though the company had taken a commission of ₹ 1,500. He only got the money when he approached Sawardekar and the process of unionisation began. 

To ensure justice, on Tuesday afternoon, several Union (MATT) representatives met with senior police officers from Kalwa Division  ACP Venkat Andhale promised to flag the issue of the murdered Ola taxi driver being on duty with the company when he was attacked and done away with.  Police investigations have clearly revealed that the victim was working on the day of the attack because the accused (who had been arrested yesterday) had booked a ride. The MAT will soon approach the labour department and other government authorities with a sustained campaign  calling for a security code of drivers in general and reparation for the slain , Muhammad Ali. Failing this, Sawardekar said an agitation and protest will be organised that will also demand due compensation for Ali’s family. Ali hailed from Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Listen to driver Mohammad Kaifi with six years of experience talk about qorkers' concerns about the lack of safety.

 

Related:

Diva police arrests 5 for murder of Ola-driver, protests follow
A Labour Day befitting India's Constitution
Fuel hike protests to hit Mumbai!
CTUs celebrate success of General strike
Over 20 cr estimated participants in workers General Strike

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