Hold meeting to resolve Uber-Ola taxi strike: Delhi HC tells driver union

Photo: PTI
The Delhi High Court on Friday heard driver unions argue an order barring them from holding up cab-hailing businesses Uber and Ola.  The order trailed in the wake of strikes and protests against policies of Ola-Uber apps in National Capital Region or NCR. On Friday, that order just got extended till February 28, the next date of hearing, in a huge relief to the companies.

Uber and Ola had moved high court earlier in the week, which restrained unions from stopping the firms' vehicles. 

In Friday's hearing, Uber lawyer Rajiv Nayyar highlighted "lack of regard for previous orders" and "continuing passenger harassment and burning of vehicles". Seeking police assistance, Nayyar said FIRs alone were not effective. (FIR is first information report.) Lawyers for cab-hailing apps said union leaders were causing hooliganism and trouble and obstructing honest individuals from driving on the platforms.

Responding to these charges, Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD)'s lawyer denied involvement in such, stressing the protests in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, were peaceful. The lawyer suggested peaceful negotiations between drivers and companies to resolve the deadlock. 

After hearing both sides, the court asked police to ensure safety of drivers, owners, and vehicles plying the roads peacefully. The court also said the unions had no right to make contractual demands in any manner except through peaceful dialogue and if such activities continued, people of the city would lose faith. The court then extended the relief to companies till February 28, the next date of hearing.

Several unions had decided to go on an indefinite strike in the NCR from February 10, affecting thousands of commuters. The move follows similar protests in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, with drivers demanding "better" benefits, accident insurance, and "relaxed" hours for targets. The unions have also called for raising rates and ending ride-sharing.

On February 12, five unions decided to call off the strike. SDAD, comprising 150,000 drivers, continues to protest.

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