Delivery riders for Zomato-owned quick commerce platform Blinkit, who have been on strike since last week, met with Gurugram Deputy Labour Commissioner Dinesh Kumar on Monday and demanded a minimum wage of INR 25 per order delivered, the reinstatement of previous incentives and better working hours.
Hundreds of Blinkit riders are on strike in Delhi-NCR in protest of the startup’s new pay structure, which will shift their payout from a fixed amount to a per kilometre basis. The service has disrupted the quick-commerce platform’s services, with approximately 100 of its dark stores closed in the region.
Last week, Blinkit cut the wages of its delivery workers from INR 50 per order to INR 14, sparking outrage and protests across Delhi NCR. According to the IFAT, over 50% of the 200 dark stores Blinkit has in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida have been shut since April 13.
In response to an Inc42 query on the pay cuts, a Blinkit spokesperson had stated that the company introduced a new payout structure that compensates partners based on their delivery efforts. The spokesperson also said that the new payout structure was optional, and teams were available to answer any questions from partners.
The IFAT noted that Blinkit previously paid INR 50 per order to the early batch of its delivery workers, with newer delivery workers receiving INR 25 per order. The industry body added that the quick commerce startup also provided incentives and fuel charges, which could reach INR 1,400 per week in some cases on top of the delivery payouts. However, these incentives have gradually tapered out, leading to worker protests.
Salauddin strongly condemned Blinkit’s unilateral decision and called on the company to reconsider its stance. The involvement of a BJP spokesperson from Haryana, Yashpal Batra, in a local industry body’s meeting in Gurugram that represented protesting Blinkit workers has given the whole chain of events a political color.
The pay cuts have highlighted the precarious nature of work for delivery workers in India’s burgeoning app-based gig economy. The IFAT’s call to Blinkit to reconsider its stance may set a precedent for other gig economy companies to prioritize the welfare of their workers.