The protest by the Zomato executives was primarily on the issue of pay cut and not over delivering beef or pork. The issue took the religious tint on Sunday apparently after a local BJP leader came into the picture, a media report has revealed.
A number of delivery executives said that the primary agenda of their protest, that began on August 5, was a dip in their remuneration paid by the company, The Indian Express has reported.
The issue was reported in the national media on Sunday after the delivery executives protested against them being made to deliver pork and beef food items, citing religious sentiments.
“Adding to the mix was the presence of a local BJP leader, Sanjay Kumar Shukla, the secretary of BJP’s Uttar Howrah Mandal 2. On Sunday, when the delivery executives protested, Shukla was seen standing with them in front of mediapersons. On Monday, however, he was not seen posing with the protesting executives,” The Indian Express report said.
Shukla was quoted as saying that a Hindu delivering beef and a Muslim delivering pork “hurts a person’s religious sentiments”.
The paper quoted a delivery partner of Zomato, Sujit Kumar Gupta, as saying that instead of Rs 80-100 earlier, Zomato was now paying Rs 25 per delivery and the boys were hardly able to make Rs 15,000 per month despite working for around 12 hours a day.
While the protest over pay was still on, a team leader told the executives that Zomato was partnering with some restaurants which serve beef and others which serve pork. This became a flashpoint among the already discontent workforce.
On its part, Zomato in a statement issued on Sunday said: “The delivery partners are unequivocally made to understand the practical nature of the job as they choose to enter the workforce. All our partners understand this fully. There is a small group of partners in Howrah who have raised concerns and we are looking to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, a meeting between the protesting executives and Zomato officials is scheduled to take place on August 16 at the company’s Kolkata office.