Hyderabad: Fifty-two drivers of the local branch of American cab rental service Avis organised a two-day protest on 30 June and 1 July at Madhapur, Hyderabad, alleging they have not received their salaries from March.

"The Central government has asked all private companies to pay their employees even during the lockdown and yet 52 drivers have been denied compensation for their services," said Shaik Salauddin, the national secretary of the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers.

The drivers had been visiting the Avis office to request the managers for their salaries but they had been chased away. After being harassed by the authorities for three months, the drivers finally decided to stage a protest. "We have been disillusioned by the manager at the local branch. Several drivers are stranded with no money for ration or for the education of their kids," one of the drivers, Syed Taher, said.

After the protest on Tuesday, the drivers were informed by the local Avis manager that they will soon be connected to the higher authorities. However, all they have received since then is silence.

Prakash Kune, the secretary of the Telangana Four-Wheelers Drivers Association, said, "We have attempted to contact the Telangana labour ministry, the Chief Minister, and even the International Labour Organisation, but there has been no response."

Mr. Salauddin added that the drivers will soon be filing a complaint with the Telangana police.

Representatives of the local branch of Avis refused to comment on the story.

Priyali Dhingra

Priyali Dhingra is a post graduate in Communication Studies from Hyderabad Central University. She has previously worked as a photojournalist, editorial, and graphic design intern in The Indian Express, Newslaundry, and NDTV. Reigning from Delhi, she has an avid interest in photojournalism, and all things visual. She has also represented India as a delegate in the JENESYS 2019 Student Exchange Program with the Government of Japan. Having pursued her graduation in history from Delhi University, she was also a part of her college's theatre society. Her primary interests include: photography, poetry & politics.

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