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Zomato CEO’s ₹700-crore donation an attempt to save company’s tarnished image: Gig Worker Union 

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Yatti Soni | Bengaluru, May 8 | Updated on: May 08, 2022

The union also asked for the life insurance of delivery partners to be raised from ₹5 lakh to ₹50 lakh

Bengaluru, May 8 Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union has called Zomato CEO’s move to donate ₹ 700-crore ESOP proceeds for gig worker focused foundation, an attempt to save the tarnished image of publicly-listed Zomato. 

“What delivery workers need is to be protected by labour legislation and not charity. It has been legally enforceable laws and enhanced bargaining power which have protected the interests of workers, and not charitable foundations set up as a PR exercise,” said Shaik Salauddin, Founder State President, Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union.

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He added that Zomato should ensure that every delivery worker, irrespective of the years spent at his company, is given a “living wage, is not overworked, has a social security net, and is covered under compensation laws when they suffer disability or death on the job.” The worker union also asked for the life insurance of delivery partners to be raised from ₹5 lakh to ₹50 lakh along with delivery partners being allotted majority shares in the public company.

Earlier this week, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal told the company employees in an internal note that he has committed his ESOPs proceeds worth ₹700 crore (net of taxes) to Zomato Future Foundation (ZFF).  Under the foundation, Zomato Delivery Partners were promised donations towards the education of up to two children among other things. However, the company has put a threshold of a minimum of 5 years of association with Zomato, for a delivery partner to get these donations. Salauddin said that only a few delivery partners would come under the category of having worked with Zomato for 5 years or more.

Last year, the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court, demanding social security benefits for app-based transport and delivery workers. Filed on September 20, the PIL stated that the denial of social security to gig workers or platform workers has led to their exploitation, causing a violation of Article 21 (Right to Life), Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 23 (prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour) of the Constitution

“While Zomato has not bothered responding to our Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court which demands rights and legislative protections for delivery workers, this move by its founder can only be understood as an attempt to save the tarnished image of his public company, which recently also faced backlash for the rolling out of 10-minute deliveries,” Salauddin added.

Published on May 08, 2022

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