Swiggy executives in Bangalore stage protest demanding minimum wages

Swiggy executives in Bangalore stage protest demanding minimum wages

For the second time in as many months, Swiggy delivery partners went on a protest in Bangalore on Friday (August 19) demanding a fixed monthly salary.

The delivery partners went on a flash strike in Marathahalli zone under the platform of All India Gig Workers’ Union. Their main demand was a fixed monthly salary of ₹26,000 per month.

The protesting workers said they were not getting enough orders in a day and they were getting only ₹240 per day which was not sufficient to make a living in a city like Bangalore.

Also read: Centre asks Swiggy, Zomato to submit plans in 15 days to improve complaint redressal

According to some of the workers, they have to work for 12 to 14 hours in a day to get incentives.

“We get an incentive of Rs 425 for Rs 650 earned for 25 deliveries a day. These days, we get only one or two orders an hour. Fewer orders mean our earnings are just about Rs 300-400 a day. We don’t get the incentives,” one of the protesters Akshay Choudhary was quoted as saying in local media reports.

“We must work 12 to 14 hours to earn the incentives. We must also spend for fuel and phone recharge from our earnings,” he added.

Also read: Real reason why food aggregators promise to deliver parcel in 10 minutes

All India Gig Workers’ Union-Karnataka said it plans to approach the state government urging it to bring in legislation that would help the workers.

“We organised the strike because Swiggy workers have not been able to reach out to the management. We are also planning to ask the government to intervene and bring about a legislation through which workers can get relief,” said Suman Das Mohapatra, Convenor, All India Gig Workers’ Union-Karnataka.

‘Log off’ protest

Last month, Swiggy delivery partners had staged a ‘log off’ protest in Bangalore over changes in rates per kilometre.

“The change in the rate card is unilateral. They are not bothered about what the workers feel. They don’t have a conversation with them regarding this change. Workers are working, but their grievances are not at all addressed promptly,” United Food Delivery Partners’ Union (UFDPU) president Vinay Sarathy said.

Also read: 10-minute deliveries: TMC’s Mahua Moitra to raise issue in Parliament

After the protest, Swiggy had responded and said it would ensure that the delivery partners’ earnings are at par with industry standards.

“Swiggy believes that delivery executives are at the core of its service. We have been in direct contact with a handful of striking delivery executives in a few pockets of Bangalore to assuage their concerns. These zones remained fully operational during this period. We continually evaluate our payout and incentive structure for delivery executives in order to ensure their earnings are at par with industry standards,” Swiggy said.

According to Fairwork India Ratings 2021 research the take-home earnings of gig workers declined in 2021. “In some places, the minimum wage is not enough to allow workers to afford a basic but decent standard of living. To achieve this point platforms must ensure that workers earn a living wage,” it said.

NITI Aayog report

According to government think tank NITI Aayog’s report released in June, India’s gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30 from 77 lakh in 2020-21.

The Aayog recommended extending social security measures for such workers and their families in partnership mode as envisaged in Code on Social Security.

The report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ further said gig workers are expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30.

Watch: Video of cop attacking Swiggy delivery exec stirs up social media

According to the NITI report, it is estimated that in 2020-21, 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy and they constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India.

Similarly, it estimated that there were 68 lakh gig workers in 2019-20, using both principal and subsidiary status, forming 2.4% of the non-farm workforce or 1.3% of the total workers in India.

The report pointed out that the employment elasticity to GDP growth for gig workers was above one throughout the period 2011-12 to 2019-20, and was always above the overall employment elasticity.

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