The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which has a significant number of Indian and South Asian-origin cabbies, has issued a statement supporting taxi drivers on strike against Uber’s poverty pay in Qatar and India. The NYTWA is led by Indian-American activist Bhairavi Desai.
In New Delhi, thousands of Uber drivers are on strike over issues of rate cuts and what they consider Uber’s global monopoly tactic of flooding streets with vehicles making it harder for each driver to make a living.
“Our brothers in India mobilized after a fellow Uber driver committed suicide from the persistent poverty and pressure to make lease payment,” the statement from NYTWA said, adding that Uber’s only response has been to file an injunction against the drivers’ organizations for striking.
“While multi-nationals often explain away deplorable treatment by pointing out lack of labor law in countries like Qatar, the reality is, Uber does not respect labor law anywhere, whether in Doha, New Delhi or New York,” the statement said.
The NYTWA said its 19,000-members stand in solidarity with the 700 Uber drivers in Qatar who are on their fifth day of strike. “We salute your courage, your determination, your loyalty to each other, and your passion for a world that is just to workers. We understand your strike is over Uber’s low wages and that this poverty for you brings the dire risks of deportation, as you risk losing your work visas when you cannot keep up with your car leases due to low pay.”
According to the NYTWA, the Uber drivers on strike in Doha, Qatar reached out to to them for solidarity after they saw the strength of their strike against the Muslim Ban and the #DeleteUber campaign.