On 8th October, Uber made an appeal on their blog, “KOCHI, THE CHOICE IS YOURS” stating that several of their partners (drivers) are considering staying of roads due to threats and violence from certain unions.
Over the past few weeks, certain unions have begun a campaign of intimidation and violence against Uber in Kochi. Several of our driver partners have been threatened and subjected to physical assaults, apart from damage to their own vehicle and company owned property. Out of fear, a majority of our driver partners are contemplating staying off roads, which is depriving them of their rightful earnings. The group’s campaign is aimed at forcibly ceasing our service, causing the loss of thousands of jobs and earnings for drivers and reliable, safe and affordable transportation choices for the city. RESTRICTING FREEDOM OF CONSUMER CHOICE A proposed restriction on fares is being contemplated which could effectively have a high price floor intended to protect the taxis and autos from competition and a price ceiling that will deprive the city of reliable transportation when most needed. This will result in:
- Artificially created higher fares for riders;
- Decreased availability of efficient and on-demand transportation;
- Decreased jobs and earnings for drivers;
- Decreased reliability of getting safe and efficient transportation options in Kochi and neighborhoods traditionally underserved by taxis.
WHY UBER NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT Uber is committed to serving the community of Kerala and prides itself on creating thousands of economic and entrepreneurship opportunities for driver partners on our platform. We strongly condemn the use of intimidation and violence, and have supported our driver partners to inform local authorities of these incidents. We hope the local authorities will take cognisance of the matter and take immediate action against those indulging in violent and unlawful activities. Uber has not only brought economic opportunities to drivers, but our innovative technology has given the people of cities like Kochi and Trivandrum a safe, reliable and convenient urban mobility option. We’re looking forward to creating even more opportunities for the people of Kerala – whether they’re looking to supplement their income, start a small business, or get a hassle-free ride at the touch of a button.
Uber is currently available in Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram. The taxi app is also the “Official Mobility Partner” of Kerala Blasters FC.
If anyone you know or you have experienced threats or violence for using Uber in Kerala, please let us know.
— Uber Kochi (@Uber_Kochi) October 12, 2015