With scores of Swiggy delivery executives on an indefinite strike in Hyderabad, the Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers has written to KT Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, and Chamakura Malla Reddy, Minister for Labour, Employment and Factories, to intervene and help restore the earlier pay structure of the delivery executives.
Swiggy delivery executives in Hyderabad have been on an indefinite strike since Tuesday. They allege that their base pay has been reduced from Rs 35 to Rs 15 during the COVID-19 lockdown, severely affecting their income.
They are also protesting against batch orders. Batch orders are where an executive delivers more than one order in a single trip. They allege that for the second order, they are paid only Rs 10 per order, while Swiggy collects the regular charge of Rs 35 from the customer.
However, Swiggy maintains that the claim of the delivery partners making only Rs 15 per order are "completely untrue."
"Most delivery partners in Hyderabad make over Rs 45 per order, with the highest performing partners making over Rs 75 per order. This Rs 15 is only one of the many components of the service fee. Naturally, no active delivery partners in Hyderabad have made only Rs 15 per order in the last four weeks,â€ť a company spokesperson told TNM earlier this week.
â€śSince Tuesday, September 15, 2020, more than 3,000 Swiggy delivery executives have resorted to strike amidst the pandemic. The reason is that there is reduction of order earning, incentive and per kilometre charges by the Swiggy management. This reduction has been introduced even while petrol prices continue to rise. In the last six months petrol prices have increased up to Rs. 10,â€ť Shaik Salauddin, National General Secretary of IFAT wrote in the letter to the ministers. This, he claims, has hit delivery executives who have to spend about Rs 150-200 for fuel.
The letter also alleges that delivery executives are not getting sufficient work because Swiggy is outsourcing orders to third-party platforms such as Shadowfax without informing delivery executives who login and wait for orders near restaurants.
â€śDelivery executives work for more than 12 hours on the road and are still earning only about Rs 300 per day. This is open exploitation of the delivery executives by the Swiggy management. Swiggy takes delivery charges from the customer, commission from the restaurant and but they are still paying very less to delivery executives,â€ť he further alleged in the letter.
â€śWe request your kind intervention in this matter and urge you to restore the previous basic minimum pay of Rs. 35 for up to 4km. This will help a lot to improve work conditions of delivery executive,â€ť the letter stated.
This is the second round of protests after delivery executives in Hyderabad went on strike in August. Similar protests took place in Chennai as well.
â€śIt is important to note that the service fee per order is based on multiple factors to adequately compensate our partners including distance travelled, waiting time, customer experience, shift completion and incentives. Regular competitive benchmarking shows that these are at par, if not higher than the industry standards," Swiggy further noted in their statement.
It continued, "We'd also like to clarify that during instances where our partners make more than one delivery on the same trip, they are adequately compensated for the additional few kilometres or minutes they put in. In such cases, most delivery partners make an additional Rs 23 per batched order and incentives over and above this."