Alleging that e-commerce retailers — Flipkart and Myntra — are denying basic employee benefits, around 400 delivery boys launched a protest halting all pickup and delivery services in Mumbai. The protest over the denial of toilets at the workplace, fixed duty timings and a six-day work week has lead to around 5,000 packages going undelivered, reports Times of India.
The striking workers stopped collecting goods meant for delivery from the Flipkart’s distribution offices and also tried to stall shipment from being received at Flipkart’s storage hub. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Kamgar Sena secretary Sachin Gole, said:
“All deliveries have stopped since Monday as nothing has been done despite our efforts to convince them (Flipkart and Myntra). They are just not willing to have a meaningful dialogue with us. Our demand is that labour laws are to be followed and worker entitlement schemes like Employee State Insurance be provided. This in reality extends to all e-commerce retailers and is not limited to just the two striking units”
According to the union, of the 400 delivery workers, about 350 are bike riders, who are not provided medical assistance in the event of an accident. Gole said:
“The dispatch centres lack basic facilities like a washroom. Despite being specified in the labour laws, they have not been provided for.”
Gole also highlighted the fact that employees have to report in at 7 am, which is recorded by a biometric device, but there is no specified end to the workday.
Workers do not get any incentive for returning to the customer’s doorstep for the pickup.
An Ekart spokesperson said:
“This strike in two of our facilities has been motivated by misguided interests. We offer delivery teams a salary and benefits structure comparable with the best in the industry. The amenities provided by us, be it uniforms, toilets, special allowances etc, are all aimed to ensure the best working environment for these employees.”