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[The Outline by Inc42 Plus] India’s Gig Economy On Strike

[The Outline by Inc42 Plus] India’s Gig Economy On Strike

While companies constantly advertise their worker-focused relief schemes, why are gig workers protesting across the country?

Dear Valued Customer, 

It was January 1982, when around 250,000 textile workers in Mumbai participated in the largest strike in the Indian subcontinent — that’s a quarter-of-a-million people. Their demands included bonus payments and wage increases. It pretty much ended the Mumbai textile industry as neither owners nor workers clung on to their positions. It may be over 38 years since that massive strike, but the atmosphere is eerily similar to 1982 as gig worker strikes and agitations have resurfaced across the country. 

Covid-19 was the final straw for gig workers who had shown signs of growing discontent with platform companies and aggregators in the past couple of years. Since June 2020, gig workers contracted to Zomato, Swiggy, Rapido, Dunzo, Ola, Uber among other companies have gone on strikes to demand better wages, simpler pay structure and better incentives.

Most recent are the strikes by Swiggy delivery executives in Hyderabad and Noida — where thousands of such riders have gone on an indefinite strike, echoing a similar strike by Zomato delivery executives last year