Dunzo Will Fire Any Delivery Executive Who Dares To Strike Against Them; Employee Union Is Not Happy
Hyperlocal delivery app Dunzo said that it will ban its delivery partners if they participate in a strike of any sort.
The threat came in a message, the screenshots of which were shared on Twitter.
A translation of the message – sent out in Hindi – read “Warning! You have been informed that (delivery partner) IDs found on strike will be permanently suspended. So, please do not be a part of any strike or support any strike.”
Among companies that have gig workers, there have been instances in the past where IDs have been suspended if workers were found to have gone on strike.
Union strikes back
The Indian Federation Of App-Based Transport Workers (Ifat) criticized the move and wrote to Kabeer Biswas, co-founder and CEO, Dunzo.
It said that it wasn’t holding a strike, rather it was just hearing grievances of its members and other related-parties.
Dunzo sent out these warning messages proactively even before anything materialized.
Right to strike
Ifat is a registered trade union representing on demand app-based drivers and riders in India.
Members include delivery partners from Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber, Urban Company, Zepto, Rapido and Porter.
The union wrote that the right to strike is a statutory and a legal right in India.
Concerns over work conditions
Instead of threatening the delivery riders it called on Dunzo to address issues of decent work conditions for their workers in areas such as minimum wage, health and safety and social security.
Quick grocery delivery within 10-20 minutes and the marketing gimmicks used by the company are taking a serious toll on the delivery riders.
“A growing community of customers do not want the safety of the delivery riders at stake,” the letter reads.
Business model based on exploitation
They must “introspect their business model which is based on profitability” but at the cost of exploitation of its workers.
Shaik Salauddin, national general secretary, Ifat further wrote that Dunzo’s business model “exploits the steady supply of youth below 30 years ready to do this work without even knowing what their rights are.”
The union expressed openness to addressing and resolving issues of decent work conditions with Dunzo.
A Dunzo spokesperson said the company was looking into the matter.
They said that their delivery partners are “very important to us and we want to make sure we do right by them”.
“If this message was sent by us, we apologise for the mistake and will take necessary corrective measures,” the spokesperson added.
Dunzo was valued at about $764 million, a huge leap from the roughly $130 million it was valued in October 2019.
According to a report by ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022, released in June, the company is poised to become a unicorn soon.
It has raised over $400 million in funding so far and Reliance Retail picked up a 25.8% stake in the company.
Google, Alteria Capital, Lightrock, Blume Ventures, 3L are its other backers.