A press note, released by Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers on Sunday, reflected the plight of such persons, saying “Ola and Uber drivers and food delivery riders risk their safety with no health advisory or emergency measures in place for COVID-19.
According to the statement, released by the federation, there is a fear among the drivers since one of the Ola drivers tested positive for the infection in Pune, when he shuttled a couple from Mumbai airport to Pune on March 1.
The federation raised the question on corporate social responsibility of app-based cab and food delivery companies towards their drivers, saying app-based drivers have to venture out in public to earn their living, making them vulnerable targets to virus infection.
“Even after knowing that coronavirus has spread in Hyderabad, I still have to travel 250 kilometer a day to complete daily targets,” one of the cab drivers was quoted as saying by the federation.
The federation suggested that “Ola and Uber need to set up a task force consisting of various members from various internal departments to ensure continuous monitoring and support for all stakeholders along with drive care teams, safety response teams available 24×7 for any concerns that may arise for drivers and customers respectively”.
“Instead of setting up walk in centres and expect drivers to reach their for help, these companies should employ extra staff to reach out to the drivers at important and vantage pick up points to distribute IEC materials and disinfectants and sanitisers,” added Shaik Salauddin National General secretary of the federation.
Shaik has also written to the central and state governments requesting relevant authorities, agencies and ministries to take these issues into account and give directions to app-based companies to ensure the safety of drivers and fool delivery men.
The federation also demanded 14 days paid sick leave for the drivers diagnosed with COVID-19 and go for 14 days quarantine, similar to the relief given by ride sharing firms Uber and Lyft in America and Australia.