Meru Cabs terminate contracts of 20 drivers

With there being no end to the Shiv Sena-led strike of Meru cab drivers, the fleet taxi service has started terminating the services of its drivers who are actively supporting the strike and are harassing drivers who are keen on plying.

In the last five days, the Meru management has severed contracts of 20 drivers who were supporting the Meru Cabs Chalak Sena. "Some drivers are supporting collective bargaining at the cost of livelihood of 95 per cent of the remaining drivers. We will suspend the contracts of all such drivers," Meru Cabs Chief Executive Siddhartha Pahwa said. There have been 30 incidents of Meru vehicles being damaged and drivers being assaulted since Friday. Meru Cabs have registered police complaints in three such cases. With every passing day, Meru Cabs is losing Rs 15 lakh in subscription revenue, while the 1,500 drivers of the taxi service are collectively losing Rs 30 lakh in customer revenue per day.

The company has rejected over 50,000 calls from customers since Friday. The company even has audio clips of drivers calling the company officials saying they want to ply but are scared of being harassed by those orchestrating the strike. The company also played a conversation with a member of the union who said there wasn't any support from drivers for the strike, but the top union leaders had made up their minds to enforce the strike by resorting to violence. In one such recorded telephonic conversation with the company's chief executive, a Meru Cab driver from Wadala was heard saying, "I went to attend a union meeting and questioned the union leaders about the strike, but I was thrown out of the meeting and was beaten up. We have lost enough revenue and want to start plying."

However, Sambaji Bhosale, general secretary of the union, said all drivers are supporting the strike and the company is misleading a section of drivers. "We have decided to take a morcha to Meru Cabs office on Thursday," Bhosale said.

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