The food delivery executives of Swiggy in Kochi, Kerala, and Musheerabad, Telangana, are protesting against continuing wage issues. Swiggy, an aggregated platform of restaurants which offers online service to the customers, has been making news for its anti-worker policies.
In Kochi, an indefinite strike was launched against the reduction in payment scale. More than 500 workers actively participated in the strike since Tuesday, May 28. As the management has agreed to meet the demands of the workers, the strike was temporarily called off on Friday. The workers, however, have made it clear that they would resume the strike after a week if the management fails to fulfill the promises.
“The company has sought a week to complete the office formalities to restore our benefits. The decisions regarding the benefits are taken at their head office in Bengaluru. If the company fails to honour the deadline, they will have to face a more intense protest,” said a delivery partner working at the company office in Kakkanad.
Read More: The Trap of Incentives: The Story Behind Swiggy Delivery Persons’ Lightning Strike in Chennai
According to the workers, the payment scale had been changed without any intimation from the management to the workers. As per the earlier scale, the workers had been getting a minimum of Rs 25 for delivering food within 4 km and there was additional Rs 5 for each extra kilometre. But, the new scale has been set as Rs 25 for 5 km. The Swiggy management has also taken away the waiting charges for the delivery workers.
“The new scale had been implemented from last Monday without information,” said one of the protesting workers.
“The management functions in the way they please without giving a thought about the workers here. They change the pay scale whenever they want and take off incentives without discussing with us. All of a sudden we receive messages saying such and such changes have been made in pay scale, waiting charge etc.,” the delivery executive said.
Earlier, a delivery executive used to get upto Rs 1,000 by working 12 hours. Now, the same person has to work 16 hours to earn the same amount.
“The ads seeking delivery executives for Swiggy say that a person can earn minimum Rs 15,000-20,000 a month. But the reality is different. At the end of the day, we earn a meagre amount unlike in those ads,” said a person who has been working with Swiggy.
The workers have also decided to approach the government. "We will register our complaint regarding this with the District Collector and Labour Officer," said a delivery executive.
Protest in Musheerabad
While the Swiggy workers in Musheerabad staged a demonstration in front of the Labour Department office on Friday, May 31, demanding steps to put an end to the harassment of workers by the management. The protesting workers are demanding pay parity among the workers.
The workers are allegedly being paid less than what they had been promised. During the demonstration led by All India Trade Union Congress, the workers pointed out that the lives of 36,000 Swiggy workers became uncertain because of the anti-worker policies of the management. They also said that as many as 20 workers were killed in various accidents in the recent past.
The protesting workers have alleged that the workers are getting only Rs 25 on each order though the management had promised Rs 60. Job security, steps to stop harassment of workers, payment of Rs 20 lakh insurance to the families of each worker killed in accidents, implementation of ESI and PF facilities, continuance of the old incentive policy, payment of additional Rs.30 for each late-night order etc., are the main demands which have been raised by the workers.
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