Workers’ union slams Dunzo for threatening riders against strikes

Hyderabad: Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) slammed food and grocery delivery service, Dunzo, for threatening employees with permanent suspension against participation in any industrial strike action.

In the letter addressed to CEO-Founder Kabeer Biswas, IFAT expressed their objection to the warnings sent to riders by Dunzo.

The riders received the messages as IFAT planned a pan India strike for fare hikes, lesser kilometres and against a 10-minute delivery promise that posed various challenges for the riders.

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Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) is a registered trade union representing pan-India demand for app-based drivers and riders in India.

“As the information of a pan India strike being planned was leaked to Dunzo, the workers received the SMS threatening them with suspension and against participation in the strike,” said National General Secretary of IFAT, Shaik Salauddin.

Screenshots of the messages received by Dunzo riders were shared on social media. The messages warned them against participating in strikes and protests. “IDs of those found participating in the strike will be permanently suspended,” read the message.

“We hope you are aware that the right to strike is a statutory and a legal right in our country. This right is a process recognized by industrial jurisprudence and supported by social justice. National law and international conventions of ILO, ICESCR recognize workers’ right to strike and India is a signatory country to these conventions,” read the letter signed by Shaik Salauddin.

The workers’ trade union stressed that companies like Dunzo need to introspect their business models that is based on “profitability, at the cost of an underbelly of exploitation of its workers”.

The letter further added that such services exploit vulnerable employees using terms like ‘partners’ and circumvent labour laws.

“Your business model exploits the steady supply of youth below 30 years ready to do this work without even knowing what their rights are. For the companies employing them, a human angle is hardly of any consequence in the cut-throat business,” read the letter.

Lucrative officers of faster deliveries, without keeping in mind the well-being of the riders, has triggered criticism in social and print media with users questioning the race for quick commerce service.

“They are only delivering groceries and not lifesaving medicines. A growing community of customers do not want the safety of the delivery riders at stake,” read the letter.

They urged Dunzo and others to address issues of decent work conditions for their workers in areas such as minimum wage, health and safety and social security rather than putting at risk their lives to suit their needs.

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