What’s the news: Delivery workers of e-commerce food business operator Swiggy paused their indefinite strike in Bengaluru, Karnataka on July 24 afternoon after company management sought a week to address workers’ grievances, reported Economic Times (ET). According to the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT), the strike began on July 21 to protest low wages, reduced incentives and safety concerns. IFAT estimated a participation of about 3,000 workers who now await the company’s response. Why it matters: The gig economy is still a relatively new sector. In June, government think-tank Niti Aayog released the ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ report that acknowledged challenges like lack of job security, irregular wages and uncertain employment status for workers. The uncertainty may lead to increased stress and pressure for workers, said the report. Workers safety and security is another concern that was recently voiced in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram. A recent Reuters article voiced workers concerns about how the ‘delivery within 10 minutes’ policy exposes delivery persons to road safety risks. There is also the fact that the unionisation of gig workers is a recent phenomenon. In January 2020, The Wire talked about how the role of gig workers in labour strikes receives little attention due to poor representation of unions at the central-level. For this reason, local protests by gig workers are important incidents to understand worker grievances. Meanwhile, IFAT has also filed a legal petition to the Supreme Court asking that workers be reclassified…
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