Telangana polls: 4.2L Gig & platform workers’ to support Congress

As part of labour welfare, Congress in their assurances, promised to set up an unorganised workers' welfare board ensuring social security to workers in unorganised sector

Hyderabad: Expressing gratitude to Congress for inclusion of their demands in the party’s manifesto, 4.2 lakh gig & platform workers in Telangana have extended their support to Congress in the upcoming state Assembly elections.

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On November 17, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge and TPCC president A Revanth Reddy released the Congress manifesto for Telangana polls scheduled on November 30. 

Among the assurances was the long-awaited demand of the Telnagana gig and platform worker, who had sought inclusion of the ‘Social Security Bill’ alongside other welfare works.

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Telangana Gig And Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) president, Shaik Salahuddin in October demanded Congress to introduce a social security framework similar to the one launched in Rajasthan.

He also requested that Congress pass the bill for the formation of a welfare board as well as a fund for platform-based gig workers in Telangana, if voted to power.

As part of labour welfare, Congress in their assurances, promised to set up an unorganised workers’ welfare board ensuring social security to workers in unorganised sector, including those working on construction sites, autorickshaw drivers, cab drivers, working for companies such as Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, and Uber.

These workers include drivers of Ola, Uber, Rapido, and Porter, and delivery partners of Swiggy, Zomato, Blink, Dunzo, BigBasket, Shadowfax, Amazon, and Urban Company, among others.

Speaking to Siasat.com, Salahuddin said that the auto drivers and gig workers got their share. However, cab drivers, particularly those working in IT sector, are still awaiting their share in the assurances.

Salahuddin also pointed out that before the Karnataka election, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had promised a welfare board with a sanction of Rs 3,000 crores and the promise was fulfilled after the Congress was voted to power in the state.

Confident over the fulfilment of promises by Congress in Telangana, the workers’ union hailed Rahul Gandhi for considering their plight and highlighting the same during the Barat Jodo Yatra in Telangana.

Drawing a comparison between BRS and Congress, Salahuddin said that Congress has promised Rs 12,000 fitness per annum for auto drivers while the state CM KCR has offered a Rs 1,200 fitness amount every two years.

Benefits promised to Telangana gig workers

  • Legislation to ensure registration and social security for all the platform-based gig workers on the lines of the Rajasthan Platform-Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act,202.
  • Setting up a tripartite board with the representation of aggregators, worker organisations and the government tasked with the powers to register platform-based gig workers in the state, notify and administer social security schemes for them and monitor the implementation of the Act.
  • Introduction of a dedicated welfare cess fee on each bill generated by the aggregator to the customer. The fee collected from individual transactions will be credited to a social security fund, which shall be used towards financing schemes meant for the welfare of platform-based gig workers.
  • Automatic registration of all platform-based gig workers operating in the state as soon as they ‘onboard’ aggregator platforms, irrespective of the duration of their association with the platform.
  • Presence of a centralised tracking and management system that shall function as a common portal for all financial transactions taking place on the aggregator’s platform.
  • The breakdown of individual bills into its constituent parts, i.e. fare charged/service costs for the customer, payment made to the platform worker, cess fee deducted etc. will be reflected in the centralised tracking and management system at the transaction level.
  • Making the department of labour and the tripartite board responsible for registering, acknowledging and redressing grievances faced by platform-based gig workers in a time-bound manner.

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