Ola cabs by News18

No More AC Rides in Ola/Uber Cabs, Says Workers Union
With diesel prices nearing Rs. 100 per liter, cab drivers are taking matters into their own hands

The Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU), said on the 26th of March that they have initiated a No AC movement to spread awareness and educate the masses about the struggles of drivers, especially during this period of rising gas prices.

The union’s officials said that their pleas to businesses and the government have fallen on deaf ears and that the drivers receive almost no help to solve their problems. The price of diesel has skyrocketed to almost RS. 99 now and the government must intervene, so drivers can make some sort of living.

AP cab getting petrol by The News Minute

The average rate drivers desire to work for is around Rs. 25 per km if they are to switch the air conditioner on but they are currently hovering around the Rs. 13 per km range which is a big red flag for drivers.

Combine this with the massive surge in temperatures recently, it is very easy to see that the working conditions for these drivers are truly bleak and dreadful. Temperatures consistently hitting 38 degrees Celsius in Hyderabad currently. This number is surely set to rise once the peak summer months roll around.

This initiative was initially started in West Bengal’s capital, Kolkata. Drivers from outside Kolkata saw this and jumped on to the movement in their cities. Currently, this movement is going strong in Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad.

The situation seems so bleak for cab drivers that they are now banding up with auto rickshaw drivers to take part in a national, coast to coast, labour strike on Monday and Tuesday, the 28th and 29th of March.

Many customers are willing to pay extra for the AC but they want that charge to be included in the price of the journey when booking for the cab. Many are adamant to pay the extra after booking the cab and entering the taxi. Most people understand that tumultuous time drivers are facing and are willing to lend a helping hand, but they must be informed of everything beforehand and not suddenly when the ride starts.

Most taxis in Telangana do not have meters to calculate the price of the trip like how Mumbai and Bangalore do. They rely on the unions and aggregators to set a price for the market to use.

It is very easy to see the plight cab drivers in Telangana and even all over India are facing currently. Soaring gas prices, long lines at the petrol pump, and scorching temperatures make being a driver a very bleak career.