Protests by gig workers

Delivery workers of Blinkit (owned by Zomato) went on strike on April 12 this year, over the company’s reduction in payments per delivery. The strikes began when Blinkit rolled out its new pay-out structure for the delivery workers, under which the minimum pay-out per delivery was slashed to Rs 15 from Rs 25. The revised structure also bases incentives on the distance covered to execute the order— a policy commonly known as ‘effort’ based pay. As a result, Blinkit delivery workers are now set to earn Rs 600-700 a day as opposed to Rs 1,200 before.

Zomato’s response to the strike was to temporarily close down the stores in which the protesting workers were employed. The workers were dismissed. The stores were re-opened in less than two weeks, with fresh delivery workers and Zomato claiming that the strike would have less than 1% impact on the company’s revenue!

In recent years, gig workers have started using social media platforms, to connect with workers in similar situations and build unity around their common demands and concerns. Organisations of cab drivers, delivery workers and gig workers in certain other services are trying to make more members and voice common demands.

Recently, women workers employed by home service provider Urban Company protested against the company’s new policies that would force workers to take up a fixed number of jobs every month even if they do not want to. Similarly, delivery workers of delivery services like Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato have been actively exposing the unfair payment structures of these companies on various social media platforms.

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