Zomato workers in Thiruvananthapuram have won a decisive battle against management’s unilateral decision to reduce incentives. Management gave in to its demands after the indefinite strike entered its fourth day on August 19.
After conciliation talks, Zomato and its delivery partners reached an agreement that weekly incentives would be calculated under three new slabs and the surge percentage was reinstated.
After refusing to participate in the conciliation talks, called by the additional labor commissioner, Zomato had no choice but to speak to the workers after their fiery struggle.
‘WORKERS AFFECTED BY THE GIGS SCHEME
Workers were shocked after Zomato unilaterally changed policy and quirky to the “GIGS” regime in March. This affected the flexibility of working time and days while incomes were affected by the withdrawal of several incentives.
“The workers and even the company have not been able to estimate the income and incentive they earn each week. The mandatory hourly login and the penalty for not doing so has eaten away at our income,” said Jyothish, secretary of the Trivandrum District Online Delivery Workers Union. Newsclick.
“After working 12-14 hours a day, we were earning around Rs 700-Rs 800 a day from which we had to meet fuel and other expenses. Considering the amount of work and travel time, this is a very small income,” Jyothish added.
The workers sent out a strike notice on July 27 demanding the reinstatement of incentives and other benefits. When the company did not respond, they submitted their demands to the Chief Minister and the Ministers of Labor and Industry.
Subsequently, the workers declared an indefinite strike on August 16 under the leadership of the Thiruvananthapuram District Online Delivery Workers Union, affiliated to the Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), and were joined in their protest march. by their Swiggy counterparts.
Shiju Khan, District Secretary, DYFI addresses Zomato and Swiggy delivery people during Raj Bhavan’s walk. (Courtesy of Jyothish).
INCENTIVE SLABS FORMED, ABUNDANCE OF RAIN REINSTALLED
After the intervention of the state government and labor officials, talks were held on August 19. Two officials from Zomato and four leaders, including four from the Youth Democratic Federation of India (DYFI), on behalf of the delivery partners participated in the talks.
“More than 250 Swiggy and Zomato workers took part in the march, which was opened by DYFI leaders. The talks were possible thanks to the effective intervention of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. Zomato officials had to give in to our demands,” Jyothish said.
Under the agreement, a worker will receive a weekly incentive of 15% if his delivery amount is up to Rs 4,000. Workers with delivery amount up to Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,500 will receive 25% respectively and 35% incentive. The rain bonus has also been restored to Rs 25 for peak hours and Rs 20 for off-peak hours.
Another important claim by the workers concerned the disciplinary measures taken by the company against them. The company had reserved the right to terminate them without notice. “A show cause notice will be sent to partners prior to taking disciplinary action such as termination or deactivation of the application,” the agreement reads.
The company has also agreed to implement varying mileage charges for delivery and pickup while paid wait time at restaurants has been reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. The profiles of workers who participated in the strike will also be activated immediately.
Zomato officials were unavailable for a response.