In this article, we will discuss the delivery workers strike in Delhi NCR against Blinkit.
“Temporarily unavailable. Store maintenance is in progress. We’ll notify you when we’re ready to serve you again.”
“Sorry, Can’t take your order. The store got a lot of orders and does not have enough people to service yours right now.”
These are the descriptions that most Blinkit users of Delhi NCR are seeing in the app. If you reside in this region, then probably you must have seen it too! Now, the question is why they are on strike. And that too all of a sudden. How does Blinkit react to this strike? Did the employer and the employee reach any conclusion? You will get to know about all of it in this article.
A Crisp Background: What Has Happened?
The whole incident happened in the Delhi NCR region i.e., Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida. Over 100 dark stores run by Zomato’s quick commerce subsidiary Blinkit have been shut for the last four days. Reason? Delivery workers strike!
The delivery executives of Blinkit are protesting against the change in their new payout structure that reduces their earnings. Videos on social and television media are telecasting the protests. It showed that hundreds of Blinkit bike riders are protesting and raising slogans against the new payment structure.
The workers are demanding a cancellation of the new payout structure. Because, according to them, it will reduce their per-order earnings. Apart from that, there are many other reasons too! We will uncover them in the next section.
Reasons for Delivery Workers Strike
Protests in a company occur for many reasons but in almost 90% of cases, the reason is “Money.” The lower payouts are the most agitating factor in employees’ strikes. Similar is the case with Blinkit’s delivery workers strike too! Let’s dive deep into the reasons for the protests.
1. Change in fee structure
Recently, Zomato introduced some key changes in the payout structure of delivery executives. You will understand the whole issue better after looking at the history of the fee structure.
|Timeline (Year)||Fee Structure Delivery executives (within 1km)|
|2021 (Blinkit was earlier called “Grofers”)||Rs.50 per order|
|2022 (Zomato acquired Grofers for $550 million and renamed it “Blinkit”)||Rs.25 per order|
|2023 (Blinkit under the leadership of Zomato)||Rs.15 per order(additional Rs.10- Rs.14 only if the delivery location is beyond 1km)|
As you can see from the data, the earnings of Blinkit delivery executives significantly decreased under Zomato’s leadership. This factor not only reduced their per-order earnings but also shook their whole income.
Blinkit’s dark stores operate within a radius of 2-3 km. So, the distance-based component is a big hassle here! The delivery men can earn more than Rs.15 per order only if the service radius is more than 1km. Earlier, a worker could earn Rs.1200 by working 12 hours a day. But now, he could hardly earn Rs.600-Rs.700 in a 12-hour work. So, the worries of the workers seem quite genuine. Isn’t it? Well, that’s not all. There are several other reasons too.
2. Rising fuel costs
The increasing prices of fuel have a deep impact on the delivery men. Most of them use their own vehicles for deliveries. Therefore, higher prices at the pump account for a substantial portion of their earnings. So, they find alternative delivery routes that can impact their work efficiency.
3. No social security benefits for workers
As you know, the delivery executives work as gigging professionals who are logged on for 10-12 hours per day. And that too for 27-28 days of the month. Most of them belong to the lower middle-class group who work under severe circumstances to put food on the table of their families. Also, more than half of them are the sole breadwinners of the family. Therefore, they do not have any social security benefits.
4. Improper Management
Workers claim that the company has a very poor management system. A worker named Kumar explained that he works 14 hours a day in Blinkit to deliver almost 40 orders on a daily basis. Earlier he could earn Rs.1500 a day (in the old payout structure). Out of which Rs.300 were deducted for fuel costs and Rs.150 for food. Also, they lost 10% money for Cash-on-delivery orders. Unfortunately, in the new payout structure, the earnings would come down by Rs.300-500 which will lead to lesser savings.
Blinkit’s Reaction to Delivery Workers Strike
Now coming to the other side of the case. How did Blinkit react to the protests? Well, it took some important steps to deal with the strikes of delivery executives.
1. Blocked the account of workers who are on strike
The first action that Blinkit took against the protests is to block the account of those workers who are on strike. Those workers received a text from the company i.e., “Account terminated due to strike enabler (sic).” It seems like Blinkit is not going to settle down with the protests.
2. Statement released
Following the protests, Zomato-owned Blinkit released a statement. The officials said that they had to restructure the payouts of delivery workers because the firm was facing a cash crunch. Do you know, Zomato is running at a loss of Rs.3629 crores? We have explained it earlier in Zomato vs Swiggy.
3. The shutdown of Dark Stores
Around 100 Blinkit dark stores were shut temporarily because of the strikes. Almost half of their dark stores are present in the Delhi NCR region. This is heavily impacting their business.
4. Revenue loss
As a result of protests, Blinkit is going to face a significant revenue loss. Blinkit is expected to lose 1% of its revenue due to the protests. The loss will occur during the April-June quarter.
Final Words: What’s Next?
Protesters are demanding a rollback of the new payout structure. Whereas, Blinkit is firm on its decision. Blinkit is all set to go ahead with its plan to roll out the new payout structure across the stores. An official of the company confirmed the decision in a statement. The company had already anticipated the disruption prior to the rollout of the new payment structure. Therefore, they are trying to educate the delivery executives about the benefits of the new payroll.
Are there more protests to come or workers will settle down with the new payout structure? Let’s see what happens next. We will share the updates soon!