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16 Mar 2020

Ajeet Mahale, The Hindu

India: Unions call on Uber & Ola to provide safety kits to protect drivers against COVID-19

"Ola, Uber must protect drivers amid air of mistrust, say unions", 15 March 2020

Unions of Ola and Uber drivers have demanded the companies to provide them with safety kits so that they don’t get infected with the novel coronavirus.

“Ola and Uber drivers are often the first ones to come in contact with passengers who may have coronavirus. The two companies should not expect drivers to reach their centres to receive the safety kits, but set up kiosks offering disinfectants, masks and hand sanitisers at major pick-up points such as airports,” said... national general secretary, Indian Federation of App Based Transport Workers....

[T]he app-based drivers’ union in Karnataka... said the companies should declare a 14-day paid sick leave for drivers as implemented in Australia and the U.S...

Spokespersons of Ola and Uber said they had set up a dedicated team to deal with the outbreak and drivers have been briefed on dos and don’ts to ensure their safety. “Our walk-in centres are equipped with a steady supply of health advisories, hand sanitisers and masks that can be picked up and used by the driver-partners,” an Ola spokesperson said.