The association said that even as Zomato assures its customers, it needs to ensure that the issues and concerns of delivery workers are taken care of.

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Atom Food Delivery Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 17:57

The Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) has asked Zomato, which has recently announced that it will be rolling out food delivery within 10 minutes to ensure that delivery workers are taken care of. 

A statement given by IFAT General Secretary Shaik Salauddin said that companies such as Swiggy, Zomato, Blinkit and others are assuring delivery within a set period. In that competition, Zomato is trying to be the fastest to provide groceries and meals to acquire more customers, and that the lives of delivery partners is at stake, it said. He added that while the companies are luring customers with the “fantasy of instant delivery” but are washing their hands off issues by concealing matters.

“It is incentive driven work conditions that these platforms actively shape which incites the delivery workers to chase those incentives targets that motivate delivery workers to resort to such acts,” he said.

After Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal made the announcement that the company was going to introduce this, many questioned how the food would be packaged properly so quickly and that it would put drivers at risk. To this, the CEO said that they are not informed about the deadline whether for 10 minute or 30 minute deadlines, and are not incentivised or penalised for on-time or delayed deliveries. 

"Zomato should understand the stress and pressure it creates with these new services it launches forgetting that the workers are not machines. Many of their delivery workers work for more than ten hours and platform actively engages such work practices by not setting any cap on maximum hours that a delivery worker can login. Long prolong working hours on the road adds to the risk of being prone to accident," the statement said. 

Salauddin said that Zomato in many cases has not been able to resolve issues such as leaked meals due to faulty packaging and fast deliveries.  “As a result delivery partners/workers have been penalised quite a few times. While planning to provide 10 min deliveries to its customers  Zomato needs to resolve these issues and concerns of the workers,” he said.

He also urged Zomato to look at delivery workers as human beings and not as data points, and said the company should understand the stress and pressure it creates with the new services it launches. “Many of their delivery workers work for more than ten hours and platform actively engages such work practices by not setting any cap on maximum hours that a delivery worker can login. Long prolonged working hours on the road adds to the risk of being prone to accidents,” he said. 

He said that while companies share information about the number of biryanis ordered per minute, it does not share data on accidents that its delivery partners have met with or how many people have lost their lives.  

“Even as Zomato assures its customers with lightning-fast food delivery, it needs to ensure that the delivery workers/partners who will be the ones to actually deliver this service, their issues and concerns are taken care of,” the statement read. While the 10-minute delivery service is based on a finishing station in a particular location, Salauddin said the company needs to provide delivery partners with access to washroom facilities, resting areas with parking for their vehicles, charging stations and Wi-Fi access at the aforementioned locations. 

“Ensuring the safety of its women delivery workers/partners operating in the areas catered by these “finishing stations” and keeping true to its promise where the delivery worker/partner is not to be penalised if the order is not delivered in 10 mins. Zomato Instant should accommodate for the size/quantity of the order and should not offset the cost of the spilled/leaked food on the delivery worker/partner,” he added. 

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