The Times of India reports that passengers were put to hardship at Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) and Bangalore city on Tuesday, as luxury cabs went on strike at the airport in protest against the suicide of a cab driver owing to alleged harassment by owners.
All the close to 400 cabs, of Meru Cab and Easy Cab, were off services to and from the airport, demanding that working conditions for the cab drivers be eased by owners. The drivers said they would continue their protest as long as the owners did not offer them a better alternative.
Owing to the strike, many travellers took other cabs to the city and even the famed Vayu Vajra Volvo buses, which have been a hit among passengers from day one.
Drivers of Meru and Easy Cab told The Times of India: “We will be on strike until the owners of the company improve things for us.” While Easy Cab drivers were the first to protest, Meru cab drivers also joined them later and expressed solidarity by calling off their services.
The luxury cab drivers were protesting as Easy Cab driver, Prakash of Madhugiri, Tumkur district, consumed poison on November 30 and died on Friday following financial pressure and alleged harassment by owners. The drivers alleged that the company collected Rs 25,000 as advance before handing over the car, but failed to fulfil promises made on maintenance and repairs. The drivers also alleged that the owners sought very high daily rentals when the driver could not afford to pay them.
“When there is recession and not many are taking our cabs, how do we make money and from where do we pay the owners almost Rs 900 a day? It used to be Rs 600 only. When there is no business, it is not possible to pay. Naturally, when you have to pay daily, pressure builds. Let them relax the conditions,” a driver said.