ITF intervenes in ride-hailing drivers' action

The ITF has written to central and regional governments in India demanding they intervene in a dispute between drivers and the ride-hailing companies Uber and Ola.

Drivers in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and many other places walked out on 22 October to demand a decent income and better working conditions. 

The letter from ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton was sent to the Surface Transport minister, the government of India, the chief ministers and transport ministers of Maharashtra and Delhi state governments, as well as Uber and Ola.

The letter said: “This major dispute is receiving global attention in the media. On behalf of 20 million transport workers in 147 countries, we seek the intervention of your office on these matters to establish a meaningful social dialogue between the unions concerned and the aggregators as soon as possible.”

The drivers’ unions are also demanding that ‘aggregators’ such as Ola and Uber be recognised and regulated as taxi companies to deal with their issues, such as long working hours and a lack of the most basic workplace rights.

Pressure has grown on Ola and Uber as the workers have held their ground with stoppages continuing in multiple cities, today they will hold a mass meeting in Mumbai and around 2,000 drivers held a demonstration in Chennai. 

The unions involved in the action include ITF affiliates Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh (MRRKS) and Shiv Sangram Taxi and Rickshaw Union (SSTRU), along with other unions in Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune and other cities who are all part of an India-wide network organising Ola & Uber drivers, which the ITF is trying to formalise.

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