Companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Blinkit, lnstamart involved in delivery services have assuring customers of deliveries in 15 mins and now Zomato Instant promising food delivery in 10 mins. In competition to become the fastest in providing groceries and meals and acquire more customers, the lives of delivery partners are at stake.
These companies are arousing fantasy of instant delivery amongst the customers. But at at the same time these platforms wash off their hands by concealing the way they structure the work to portray as if delivery workers are independently engaging in traffic violations and hazardous driving condition risking themselves and the other pedestrians on the road. However, it is incentive driven work conditions that these platforms actively shape, which incites the delivery workers to chase those incentives targets, and motivate delivery workers to resort to such acts.
Zomato in most of the cases has not been able to resolve issues like leaked meals which arises from faulty packaging and executing fast delivery. As a result, delivery partners/workers have been penalized 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.
Further we urge Zomato to look at their delivery workers as human beings, and as more than data points for the algorithm to manage. 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.
Further while data extracting companies provide information about number of biryani ordered in a minute. But they do not share data on accidents that their delivery workers met so far. Nor do they share information about how many delivery workers lost their lives in the road accidents.
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. As Zomato commits to provide its customers with a hyperlocal experience based on demand predictability and by starting 4 “finishing stations” in Gurugram, it needs to provide the delivery worker/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 “finisging stations” and keeping true to its promise where the delivery worker/partner is not to be penalized 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.
Founder and State President
Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU)
See signed press release here.