Taxi operators to go on strike seeking fare revision

Off the road: The strike by taxi operators is likely to stall the services of around 4,000 autorickshaws within the city limits alone.

Off the road: The strike by taxi operators is likely to stall the services of around 4,000 autorickshaws within the city limits alone.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH

Entry of multi-nationals a cause for concern, says union

Seeking a speedy fare revision and better control over the entry of multinationals into the domestic market, autorickshaw and taxi drivers will go on an indefinite strike in the district from Tuesday night. The strike called by the Auto, Taxi and Light Motor Workers’ Union will draw the participation of drivers aligned to prominent trade unions.

According to union leaders, not less than 57,000 autorickshaw drivers and around 16,000 taxi drivers will join the strike in the district.

“The government is likely to hold talks with union leaders on Tuesday on the possibilities of calling off the strike. We will be firm on our demands,” said K.K. Mammu, CITU leader and convener of the district-level coordination committee of protesters. He pointed out that drivers in the taxi sector were in a pathetic state with the yet-to-be revised fares and the uncontrolled entry of multinationals into the traditional market. “It was in 2014 that fares were revised after months of protest by trade unions. Moreover, fuel prices were hiked several times after the fare revision, as a result of which drivers are not able to pull on without another revision,” said Mr. Mammu. He added that drivers were struggling pay the revised insurance premium and other allied charges.

One of the main demands to be placed before the government will be the cancellation of the revised fine of ₹2,000 for failure to meet the deadline for fare metre sealing. Also, the practice of collecting advanced vehicle tax for 15 years and a fine of ₹1,500 for minor fitness issues will be brought to the attention of the government.

The coordination committee leaders said there were several taxi drivers in Kozhikode district who were yet to be part of any government welfare fund.

Those who have secured badges and licences should be given membership in the Employees’ Welfare Fund. Besides, the government should find an alternative to bring all native taxi operators under a State-controlled platform to resist the entry of monopolistic investors into the sector, they said.

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 1:50:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/taxi-operators-to-go-on-strike-seeking-fare-revision/article24306425.ece

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