Resist BlinkIt's Substantial Reduction of the Per-delivery Payout to Its Workers!
Support the ongoing Struggle of the Blinkit workers against this arbitrary move!
For years now, Delhi has been witnessing a stark rise in the frequency of app-delivery workers riding their bikes to deliver a range of goods from daily essentials to delicious meals in the 'blink' of an eye. The app-companies, whether it be Swiggy, Zomato, BlinkIt, Dunzo or Zepto, conviently advertise a content delivery 'partner' bringing smile to the customers' face. However, what lie under the veil of the glowing signboards and spectacular ads are arbitrary and authoritarian diktats, miserable working conditions, possibilities of fatal accidents, lack of any security or welfare measures or legal protection from retrenchments in the form of blocked IDs and a growing discontent among the gig workers. The recent incident of the never-ending saga of arbitrary moves by these companies comes from BlinkIt. It is an irony of our times that while Swiggy-Zomato-BlinkIt-Zepto-Dunzo, among others, are making fortunes worth millions of US dollars riding on the back of their delivery workers, the living and working conditions of the delivery 'executives' continue to exacerbate. Furthermore, every six months or so, the payout per delivery for the workers is revised and reduced to a lower pay scale that impoverishes them further and forces them to put in more hours to make ends meet.
Similar is the case with 'India's last minute app' Blinkit. The BlinkIt, having amassed a whoping ₹2616 crores in revenue in the financial year 2022, has resorted to a drastic reduction of the rate card for its delivery workers from ₹50 per delivery to an abysmally low ₹15 to further reap profits denying workers dues. It amply proves that the rate of exponential multiplication and growth of these companies are achieved by cutting down the wages of delivery workers. To put it in other words, the rate of profit and growth of these companies are inversely proportional to the wages of workers. It is the same delivery workers whose tireless labour generates a huge profit for companies are the same people who are being denied even a dignified life. As a result, the workers are left at the mercy of the indiscriminate profit hungry companies. The workers were constantly and collectively voicing their opposition for several months against the bogey of the name 'delivery partners'. Under the guise of this name, delivery partners, they are not even recognised as workers and are denied applicability of various provisions applicable labour laws. They were demanding ESI, EPF, bonus, gratuity and legal protection against retrenchment. For almost a week, the discontent of the workers caused these delivery app-stores to remain shut down as they demanded immediate end to the injustice.
In complete solidarity with the gig workers, App Karmchari Ekta Union (AICCTU) called for a Twitter Storm #StandWithBlinkitWorkers on 16th April against BlinkIt's high-handed move to revise the rate card of its workers. This call was supported by gig workers across the country and saw a spirited participation from students, social activists and civil society members. In addition to this, App Karmchari Ekta Union (AICCTU) reiterated and vehemently asserted long-standing demands of workers in the gig economy. Recognition as workers, all social security benefits, job security and other legal protection were their major demands. Further, AICCTU also demanded the companies and the government to ameliorate the miserable working conditions. Advocate Ritwik, convener of the said union fiercely warned the companies and the government to stop trampling upon the most exploited workers. He said, " the tactic of using fancy words such as “partners” and “executives” to deny workers of their due rights and forcing them to work under semi-bonded conditions stands exposed and we shall ensure that the struggle of the BlinkIt workers reaches its logical conclusion. Workers create the wealth of these companies and it is time that they recognize it and treat them as humans with legally mandated rights."
Long live the Right to Unionisation!
We shall fight, we shall win!