Even as many restaurants stay logged out of Zomato, trouble has spilled to its delivery business as thousands of delivery executives in Bengaluru and Mumbai are protesting against the food aggregator over revised rate cards. Around 3000 delivery executives in Mumbai and another 3000 in Bengaluru have logged out of the app and have been protesting since Saturday.
The bone of contention is the change in their payment systems. Delivery executives are given rate cards which define how much they will be paid per delivery and lays out incentives based on orders completed and kilometres travelled.
Delivery executives claim that Zomato has reduced their per delivery earning, increased the number of orders that will earn them an incentive and has also increased the kilometres they need to travel to get additional bonus.
In Bengaluru, delivery executives earlier earned Rs 40 per delivery, which has now been reduced to Rs 30. In terms of incentives, the executives were earlier paid Rs 550 as incentive for 15 deliveries on weekends. This has been changed to Rs 500 for 18 deliveries. Zomato has also allegedly increased the distance required (from 4 kms to 5.5 kms) to make workers eligible to receive ‘bonus points’.
Zomato delivery executives protesting in HSR Layout, Bengaluru
Wasim a native of Kolkata, who joined Zomato a year ago was earning Rs 34,000 -- minus fuel cost of Rs 6000 – after working for 15-16 hours a day. "Now for the last three days, I have logged out. My wife is pregnant, my costs will further go up. It will be impossible to make a living. I have a small loan to service also. Earlier we had bonuses for every order in excess of 5km. Now this is no longer there. It is very hard to compete 20 orders in a day with the new target of 24 orders, it is impossible to get the incentive which is the most important part,” he says.
The situation is similar in Mumbai. Delivery executives, who earlier got paid Rs 35 per delivery, will now be paid only Rs 25. And while they used to get Rs 240 as an incentive on completing 11 orders, this has now changed to 14 orders.
Rakesh, a delivery executive in Mumbai says that they were promised earnings of up to Rs 20,000 for part time and Rs 40,000 for full time. “We now work for 12 hours and still barely earn Rs 20,000. Of that we need to spend for petrol and mobile recharge. Petrol prices are increasing. In any company, salary increases as time goes. So on what basis is Zomato reducing our earnings?” he asks.
Zomato delivery executives protesting in Mumbai
Prakash*, a college student who funds himself and his family says that his monthly earning will be affected by nearly Rs 5000 with the new rates.
"On Thursday, I had logged in for the whole day and I made Rs 1400 on the app. Now imagine if I had to spend almost the whole day and logged out at 11 pm to make that. In the current situation, I have to deliver more orders, which would mean an additional three hours on the app to make the same amount. Do you think this is possible? If I do the same work as now, I would only make Rs 1200,” he says.
Delivery executives also claim that the number of orders they have been receiving has significantly come down. And this is mainly because of the number of delivery executives Zomato has onboarded. This would mean that it takes longer for an executive to receive an order and takes even longer to complete the required number of orders to receive an incentive.
Zomato delivery executives protesting in Worli, Mumbai
Sivanandan, another delivery executive from Mumbai claims that the company does not even help them when they meet with accidents and get injured. “Zomato says they are running under loss. But the real loss is for us – we pay for petrol, for mobile bills and even medical bills when we meet with an accident,” he adds.
Several delivery executives in Bengaluru too, shared instances of them meeting with an accident resulting in severe injuries and Zomato taking no responsibility for the same.
Delivery executives in Bengaluru have now written to Zomato opposing the new incentive scheme and that order distance also be reduced so that it doesn’t take them too long to deliver. They will be meeting with the company later today.
Shaheed from Mumbai, however, claims that Zomato is not paying heed to their demands. Some executives were called for a meeting, but there hasn’t been any resolution.
“We have given Zomato so much of our time. Our main demand is that the old rate system and incentive system be restored,” Shaheed adds.
While Zomato did not specifically respond to TNM’s questions on how the new scheme will work, a company spokesperson said, “Different metrics such as base pay, user satisfaction, delivery touchpoints, minimum guarantee etc. help us appreciate our delivery partners in accordance with their efforts. Reduced average delivery time (less than 30 mins) and increased system efficiency have enabled our delivery partners to perform more deliveries in the same amount of time.”
“We regret the inconvenience caused to our users and are continuously working to resume our services in the affected areas,” it added.