Flipkart, Myntra Crippled In Mumbai As Delivery Staff Revolt Against Pathetic Working Conditions; MNS Gives Them Support
Flipkart, whose valuation increased to $15 billion (Rs 96,000) after raising $700 million (Rs 4500 crore) during their 10th round of funding, is little concerned about the base on which their digital empire is being constructed: their employees.
As per Mumbai Mirror, around 400 delivery staff at Mumbai, who work for Flipkart and Myntra have revolted against the management, and stopped working. Due to this strike, atleast 5000 packages are left undelivered across various sections of the city.
This strike has been on since Monday.
Those workers who have decided to strike are affiliated with Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena; and have presented a list of 20 demands to resume working.
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.”
Mumbai Operations Crippled
As per reports coming in, the striking staff has stopped collecting goods which were meant for deliveries from Flipkart’s distribution point at Fort, Lower Parel and Tardeo.
On Tuesday, MNS workers stopped shipments from being received at Flipkart’s storage hub at Andheri MIDC and Myntra’s facility at Vikhroli.
MNS corporator Sachin Dhuri said, “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,”
Pathetic Working Conditions
As per the delivery staff who have revolted against the management of Flipkart and Myntra, the most basic facilities are absent from their premises. They don’t even have a washroom inside the office, and they are forced to use public toilets.
Additionally, they don’t have any shift timing, they are working 7 days a week, and there is no provision of overtime compensation as well. Out of 400 delivery staff who are on strike, 350 are bike riders, and they are not covered by any medical insurance incase of any unfortunate incidence.
Although the employees are required to report by 7AM, and are verified by biometric access, there is no fixed time for ending their shift.
The striking workers are demanding that Flipkart/Myntra treat their workers as per existing labor laws, and provide them basic facilities which are a must for every human being.
Here are some demands which these workers have put across the Flipkart management:
- Toilets in each delivery office
- Duty hours to be fixed
- Overtime allowances
- Existing shipment allowance to be enhanced
- Bike maintenance allowance to be granted
- Food, laundry allowance to be made available
- Foot delivery boys to be paid Rs 5 for shipment and Rs 10 for return shipment
- Workers to be issued company ID card
- Delivery boys to be exempted from work on public holidays
- Workers to be paid Rs 30 per day as shipment delivery expenses
- Workers to be issued an ESIC card
- Workers to be provided uniforms
- Workers to be provided vouchers – Sunday holiday/compensatory off
- Sunday holiday/compensatory off
Ekart, which is the in-house logistics arm of Flipkart said in a statement, “As India’s largest e-commerce logistics force, 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. This strike in two of our facilities has been motivated by misguided interests. This is not only hurting the customers but also the interest of the workers. We are ensuring alternative delivery operations to make sure that all our shipments affected by this strike are reaching the customers in the quickest possible way.”
Vector Ecommerce, Myntra’s distribution arm, also issued a statement: “Vector is committed to providing its employees a safe and secure work environment. We have and will always continue to provide all our employees healthy and work conducive facilities, the very best across the industry. These is unfounded speculation being driven by certain vested interests attempting to misguide personnel.”
We had earlier applauded the fact that Flipkart is providing a generous maternity leave policy for their female employees. However, such benefits and perks should be distributed fairly, to cover all their employees. They definitely cannot treat their delivery staff like this way. Flipkart was also recently in news for the out-of-the-world plus office that they have come up with in Bangalore.
We will keep you updated as more details come in.
Do you think that ecommerce industry will suffer if labor unions and political parties interfere with their employee’s internal issues? Or such involvement is the right step in solving labor issues?
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