Delivery executives of popular food delivery service Swiggy have been on strike in Chennai since Tuesday, September 20, demanding better pay for their services. Some of their concerns include extended shift timings for the same scale of pay, inability to save what they earn from deliveries and fuel costs not being taken into account while determining their pay scale. According to The Hindu, there are five shifts per day and the employees have been asked to work two shifts during the week and three during the weekend.
Speaking to the media, one executive said that they earned Rs 12,000 every month earlier, but they were able to take home only Rs 7,000 - Rs 8000. He added, â€śIf we include fuel and vehicle costs, we will not be able to earn even Rs 7,000. Now, even that has been taken away from us because of the new system.â€ť
Another executive said that they would not be able to earn like before unless they work for nearly 16 hours a day and deliver more than 30 orders. He added that petrol costs them nearly Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day and they are unable to save anything even if they work longer shifts. He also said, â€śEarlier, we were asked to work only for 12 hours. Now, for a mere Rs 12,750, we are asked to work for nearly 17 hours. With the new pay structure, we do not even get our daily and weekly incentives.â€ť
To meet their daily target, the delivery executives have to complete 30 food delivery orders. But many of them feel that it is impossible to complete those targets unless they work for 17 hours. â€śIf we have to complete the target orders, we cannot spend time with our loved ones. We have to be on the field, the entire day,â€ť another executive said. The demands of the striking executives is for Swiggy to bring back their old pay structure, where employees could work for 12 hours per day and were given weekly and daily incentives. The workers also want better health insurance coverage as well.
Swiggy has reacted to the strike saying that the new payout structure will give delivery executives more flexibility and enable them to earn better, depsite the number of orders on the platform. A statement issued by the food delivery platform said, "There are no changes to how much Swiggy's delivery executives earn or how long they work . We are in continuous discussion with our delivery executives to help them understand their payouts better, and are confident of them resuming deliveries at the earliest."