Blinkit’s delivery executives’ strike saga in Delhi-NCR has put the spotlight on the plight of the gig-workers. Rahul (name changed), a Blinkit delivery executive based out of South Delhi, said: “In the previous payout model I earned ₹6,000-7,000 per week, now I would make about ₹4,000 per week. With petrol prices and my bike EMI, I would barely make an income but one can’t sit at home unemployed. ”

Blinkit’s dark stores began resuming operations from Monday evening after facing disruptions for several days due to a strike by its delivery executives in protest against the new payout structure. The quick commerce platform has changed its payout structure from ₹25 per delivery (plus ₹7 during peak hours) to ₹15 per delivery minimum fee along with a distance-based component. 

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While some Blinkit delivery executives told businessline that they have resumed work, others said they are looking at new employment options. Meanwhile, some others are figuring out their next course of action.

Take for instance a Gurgaon-based delivery executive who told businessline he was rushing for a job interview after being disappointed that the company stood firm on implementing the new payout structure. 

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Shivakant Singh, a delivery executive from Ghaziabad, said: “It has now been nine days since we have been protesting against the new payout structure. We have got no positive response from the company. In the new payout structure my weekly earnings will become nearly half of what I earned earlier. We are only asking them to revert to the older payout structure.”

A Blinkit spokesperson, on Tuesday said, “All of our stores are back in operations now. Over 70 per cent of our delivery partners have also opted-in to the new payout structure, without any loss in earnings and continue to deliver on the platform. We are experiencing higher demand than supply at the current moment and some customers will see higher than expected times for the next few days”

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Another delivery executive based out of North Delhi, who did not wish to be identified said: “Some of the delivery partners at my store have resumed work but not everyone has gone back. I have decided to not resume work as the basic fees have come down from ₹1,200 per day to ₹800 per day. Any additional incentives are not in our hands and completely depend on the company’s whims.”

Shaik Salauddin, President and Founder, Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union, pointed out the larger issue. “It is high time that the state governments and Central government look into the plight of the gig workers. There is an urgent need to make laws that look after their interests,” he added.

Ritwik Raj, Convenor, App Karamchari Ekta Union (AICCTU), added: “The tactics to use fancy words such as partners denies these workers their rights and pushes them to work in wretched working conditions. There is a need to grant them constitutionally granted rights.”