In yet another instance of gig workers launching strike against unannounced change in payment contract, a group of about 150 door delivery agents of e-commerce platform Fraazo has started an indefinite strike in Noida on Monday.
The workers have sought an appointment with the representatives of Uttar Pradesh Government on Tuesday to lodge a complaint against the company.
The workers claimed that they have support of colleagues in other centres such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Gurugram and a joint strategy will be worked out after consultations with Central Trade Unions and the response of the Government to their complaint.
A delivery staff of the Fraazo, Deepak told The Hindu that they decided to strike as a protest against the unilateral decision to reduce their wages. “We used to get ₹500 per day and ₹4 per kilometre as fuel allowance. The company has changed it on Saturday. Now our daily salary is ₹45 per order and the fuel allowance has been done away with. We have to travel 20-25 km to deliver some orders and without fuel allowance, it will not be cost effective,” Deepak said.
Fraazo has 30 to 40 delivery agents at one unit in Noida. They used to get 150 to 200 orders per day in one unit. “We used to get eight to 10 orders a day for each delivery agent. We work 10 to 13 hours a day,” Deepak said.
The workers received the information about the change from a WhatsApp group in which they are members. “They did not inform us properly about the change. In Noida and Ghaziabad, about 150 of the 200 workers are on strike” Deepak said.
They company refused to comment on the strike call of workers.
The All India Gig Workers Union is helping the workers in Fraazo to fight their management. “We have a seen a pattern in gig/ platform apps wherein companies provide many sops and incentives to their workers in the beginning, and later, introduce drastic payout cuts once the company achieves a certain threshold of workforce. This is done by design — there is no consultation with the workers, it prevents them from earning living wages and forces them to work in precarious conditions. This is happening because of lack of labour protections for gig workers. In the case of the Fraazo workers’ protest, the All India Gig Workers Union has taken up the issue of the workers and will take up the matter with the District Magistrate and the Labour Commissioner, as well as pursue other legal actions against the company if they don’t honour the workers demands,” said Rikta Krishnaswamy of the union.
Recently, drivers of Ola and Uber struck work demanding increase in the wages. They held protest demonstrations in front of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejrilwal’s residence demanding his intervention into the matter.