Bengaluru food delivery workers protest for COVID relief package, vaccine priority

The workers said that they have been working round the clock during the lockdown, but their services are unrecognised by the government.
Food delivery executives protest
Food delivery executives protest
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Delivery partners from across app-based delivery services like Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo started an online protest on Saturday, May 29, to be included in the state government’s relief package for workers in the unorganised sector. They also demand that they receive the COVID-19 vaccine on priority along with their families, and that they receive protective gear such as masks, sanitisers and face shields from the government. 

The protest was led by the United Food Deliveries Partners' Union (UFDPU). Photographs of delivery workers with the list of demands of the union were shared on social media on Saturday. "The state government has not considered the notable services rendered by food delivery workers and has not announced any relief package to these workers.

In this background, a statewide online movement was declared by UFDPU, workers have joined this online movement in large numbers and have expressed their indignation and demanded the government to fulfil their demands immediately," read a statement issued by the union's President Vinay Sarathy V. The UFDPU is affiliated to the All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC).

"The food delivery partners have been working under high risk conditions. These workers run their families with these earnings. Also, their family is under high risk as these workers meet many people during their work. The number of orders they get has also had a hit during the lockdown and high fuel prices have affected the earnings of the workers," the union said in a statement. Apart from a relief package and vaccination on priority, it also called for better pay-outs and incentives for the delivery personnel. 

Under the current lockdown restrictions in Karnataka, hotels and restaurants are open only for deliveries and takeaways. Delivery personnel have been working round the clock since the beginning of the lockdown, with people being forced to order food and groceries online. 

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