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Pune gig workers go on 24-hour strike in demand of legal rights

The strike comes a day before Mumbai gig workers’ demonstration at the city international airport

What’s the news: App-based cab drivers and delivery workers in Pune observed a 24-hour strike on October 18, 2023 to demand the passage of the ‘Gig Workers Registration and Welfare Act,’ reported Punekar News. This strike comes a day before a demonstration by Mumbai gig workers and taxi-drivers outside the city’s international airport.

Along with the Welfare Act, autorickshaw drivers working for Ola and Uber also pushed for the enactment of the ‘Cab Aggregators Act.’ As per the report, such e-services had become an everyday part of life in Pune, leading to possible challenges due to the strike.

Prashant Sawardekar, President of the Maharashtra App -Based Transport Workers Union (MAT), told MediaNama that the Pune-strike was part of the state-wide initiative by a Joint Action Committee of various app-based and regular drivers and workers to demand basic rights from the government.

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Why it matters: Gig work was originally promoted by platforms as additional earnings. However, since COVID-19, gig work has become the sole source of income for many people. For this reason, these workers have now come together to demand legal provisions and a complete overhaul of the current system that will inevitably affect the working of the app-based companies. Moreover, considering the potential vote-bank offered by the community, political parties have also grown attentive of gig worker demands.

What are the demands of Mumbai gig workers?

Drivers and delivery workers of the Mumbai Metropolitan region will gather at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Terminal 2, on Thursday from 9 AM to 5 PM to demand the following;

  • Implementation of aggregator guidelines introduced by the central government in 2020
  • Creation of aggregator offices in Mumbai where workers can file grievances
  • Creation of a regularized parking system for app-based taxis near the airport
  • Creation of a set of rules to protect the rights of delivery workers
  • Creation of a Welfare Board for app-based workers as well as cool cabs and prepaid taxi drivers
  • Reduce the penalties levied by traffic police

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Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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