Over 15 delivery executives working for food app Zomato in Howrah district on Sunday called an indefinite strike from Monday refusing to deliver pork and beef to customers. The executives staged a protest on Howrah and raised slogans like ‘Zomato ki dadagiri nahi chalegi’.
According to the protesters, the company allegedly did not pay any heed to their reservations of delivering food consisting of pork or beef to customers. They also claimed that the company had stopped their payouts.
The protesting group, reportedly consisting of Hindu as well as Muslim members, demanded that the company refrain from “forcing” executives to deliver these items.
Mausin Akhtar, one of the protesters, said, “Instead of listening to our grievances, the company is forcing its executives to deliver beef and pork against their will. While Hindus have a problem in delivering beef, Muslims have a problem in delivering pork. We are not ready to deliver such things on any condition, but are forced. The company has also rolled back our payout. We have decided to call for an indefinite strike.”
Another protesting executive said, “The company is playing with our religious sentiments. The company assigns us to deliver any kind of order to the customer. We, the Hindus, were asked to deliver beef, while in the coming days our Muslims brothers will be asked to deliver pork. This is not acceptable. We demand that the company not play with our religious sentiments.” Zomato responded to the strike with a late evening statement saying it is looking into the grievances of the group.
“In a country as diverse as India, it is impossible to ensure that vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences are factored into delivery logistics. 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,” said the company’s statement.
The incident comes close on the heels of an incident in Jabalpur when a customer refused to accept an order from Zomato as it was assigned to a Muslim delivery executive.