New Delhi: Food delivery service Swiggy’s delivery executives continued to strike in many cities, including Chennai and Hyderabad, over the roll back of incentives they were previously eligible for, reported The News Minute.
The protests in Chennai began on August 14 after Swiggy reportedly withdrew 20 weekly and monthly incentives that delivery executives were previously provided if they met certain performance criteria. The delivery executives have alleged that the company cited the coronavirus lockdown to withdraw incentives for long distance orders, for delivering during the rain and has also increased daily targets.
Swiggy’s staff has also said that as per the company’s new policy, their order fee has been reduced by 133% from Rs 35 per order to Rs 15 per order, the New Indian Express reported. In fact, the fee was even higher at Rs 40 a few months back.
“We did not fight back when they brought it down to Rs 35. But now, it has further dropped to Rs 15. How can we feed our family with this?” a delivery executive told the New Indian Express.
Swiggy has described the allegation that delivery fee has been reduced to Rs 15 as “inaccurate”. “This Rs 15 component is ONLY ONE of the seven components of the payout. Naturally, zero active delivery partners in the city have earned only this component. Most delivery partners who have actively delivered during the week made over Rs 45 per order. In fact, the highest performing partners made over Rs 100 per order across the entire week,” it said in a statement.
Another incentive which the company has cut back on according to their staff is for delivery during lunch and dinner times. Delivery executives would work through one of those peak hours and rest in the other. “We used to get some time to rest in between. Now that the incentive has been taken away from us, we have to work for a minimum of 12 hours a day to earn such incentives,” an executive said.
Protest in Hyderabad
Chennai is not the only city where Swiggy delivery executives are striking. Protests have also been witnessed in Hyderabad. The issues remain the same and the staff allege that due to the reduction in payment rates, their daily earnings have reduced significantly.
“The change meant a reduction in their earnings from Rs 500-600 per day to less than Rs 200-300 after working for more than 12 hours. The delivery workers are already under huge financial stress since the last three months because of the lockdown and the company is being insensitive to their needs,” the Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers (IFAT), which is supporting the protest in Hyderabad, said.
Delivery executives feel that they are being short-changed and some find that their daily earnings have been reduced by more than half. “Previously, if we clocked Rs 900, we used to get an incentive of Rs 200. We would work from 11 am to 11 pm and would make some profits. Now, they have increased rides, reduced payment, they said if we get Rs 375 we get Rs 150 as incentive. They say things like this and surge costs etc, but nothing is getting added to our final payout. We are not getting incentives. At this time don’t play with the rules,” a delivery executive in Hyderabad told The News Minute.
Swiggy has defended itself by arguing that the daily rates are part of a complex structure in which those who work more can still earn higher amounts. It has also said that it has supported its staff through other means during the economic downturn.
“During the lockdown, when many cities were shut, we financially aided delivery partners who continued to log-in despite not being able to deliver any orders. In an industry first, we supported close to 40,000 delivery partners to the tune of Rs 18 Cr in earnings guarantee to tide through the lockdown” the company said in a statement.