Food delivery executives brave Cyclone Nivar despite nominal pay

However, food aggregators have said that delivery executives are being given protective gear and additional compensation for delivering during the cyclone.
Swiggy workers in Chennai
Swiggy workers in Chennai
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Delivery executives of platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo have ensured delivery despite the rains and flooding due to Cyclone Nivar across Tamil Nadu. The platforms told TNM that all the delivery executives were provided additional payment for working during the rains.  However, food delivery executives say that the payment is very minimal, and they continue to work in order to support the family.
A delivery executive delivering for a platform said, “All places are blocked in Chennai due to the rains and we are delivering food despite the odds. In many cases, we are unable to reach the restaurants or the customers due to flooding but even to connect with the customers the company takes more than an hour leaving us drenched in the rains.”
For the service provided by the executives, he executive claims that the company pays them an additional rain fee of Rs 15 per order. However, they allege that they are not given the rain charges in many cases and complain that the fare is minimal.
The delivery executive said, “The rain charges are valid only for 20 minutes and the company should accept the order within the time frame but most of the time, the company is not switching on the rain option. As a result, we are forced to deliver food by traveling in the rain but without the additional charges.”
He said, “We are asked to send a picture of rain for every order to avail rain fee. In case of heavy rains, we can only protect the phone, so we end up losing the money. We do not have an association, so we are unable to question the company.”
However, delivery platforms told TNM that they believe in the safety of their partners and take utmost care for the executives’ wellbeing. 
Sources at Swiggy said that while delivery executives are given compensation for unusual weather, they are now being given an added compensation for delivering during the cyclone. 
“The partners are given Swiggy raincoats and we’re giving an added compensation. In general, there is a compensation when the weather is unusual, but this will be over and above for those who choose to log in. On Tuesday, Swiggy sent out communication asking them to fuel up, charge phones and keep mobile guards etc handy. Most importantly, Swiggy is monitoring the situation and government directives to ensure safety,” the source added. 
A Dunzo representative said, “At Dunzo in Chennai specifically, delivery partners have been equipped with helmets, raincoats, rain-resistant pouches amongst other things. Additionally, every partner is covered under a health insurance policy.”
“We also urge Partners to refuse any order where they feel it's unsafe to venture out and let us know the areas as well, so we can ensure other Partners are kept safe. With these safety measures in place, we hope to continue keeping our delivery partners safe and our cities accessible,” he said.

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