Uber Eats delivery executives in Thiruvananthapuram are on an indefinite strike, alleging drastic cuts to their wages by the company. For the third consecutive day on Sunday, delivery executives refused to work in the city. The executives recently held a meeting with the management but decided to go ahead with the indefinite strike on Friday, as the discussions failed.
“The incentives and the peak hours boosting have been slashed drastically,” Shaheer, a delivery executive, tells TNM. “The cuts began in July this year, it was a phase by phase process and a drastic cut happened in October. This has reduced our income by 70%. They even charge us Rs 1,300 for the T-shirt and the delivery bag that have Uber Eats’s name on it. It’s like we are carrying Uber’s advertisement with our own money,” he explains.
“Now we need to work 16 hours to get the same income we used to get earlier by working for eight hours. It’s like we need to work round the clock to get a decent remuneration otherwise it would be just enough to meet the petrol and maintenance charge of two wheelers. We will continue the strike unless our demand is met,” says Sanjith, another executive.
In the first meeting of the delivery executives held last week, it was decided to send a notice to the management and not go on a strike immediately. But the management, according to the executives, refused to look into the demands in the notice, which forced them to go on an indefinite strike.
"A meeting was held with the Kerala operations head of the company, which also yielded no result. Following this around 350 executives gathered at a meeting on Thursday and decided to go for a strike,” says Shaheer.
The demands include: regulate the daily schedule; bringing back executives who were blocked; clarification of the reason behind blocking executives; a three-warning system before someone is blocked from work; regulation of fresh hiring; etc.
The representatives have also decided to launch a platform named Online Delivery Partners Association of India.
There are 18,000 Uber delivery executives in Thiruvananthapuram and according to those who are protesting, a section of delivery partners of Swiggy and Zomatto have also stopped working in solidarity. They claim to have the support of restaurant owners as well.