VIJAYAWADA: Two days after the Vijayawada Hoteliers’ Association decided to log out from one of the leading online food aggregators Swiggy, delivery partners working with the company in the city are a worried lot.
Nearly 80 per cent of Swiggy’s delivery partners work full-time and many were the sole breadwinners of their families. “We are similar to daily wagers as our income depends on how many parcels we deliver in a day. My family of four has been completely dependent on me after my father lost his job due to an accident eight months ago. I have to look for another job which would pay me at least the same amount,” said Durga Prasad.
A few of the delivery partners tried to seek employment with other food aggregators such as Zomato and Foodpanda, but were denied jobs due to lack of vacancy. Some were also desperately trying to get work at restaurants they picked up food from. “I have asked three to four restaurant owners and managers, who are in good contact with me due to frequent pickups for delivery, if I can get the job of waiter,” B Srinath, another delivery partner, said.
On one hand where some delivery personnel were saving for their higher studies, many less-educated had less options other than looking for new opportunities.
Meanwhile, the female partners said working in a male-dominated occupation was a matter of pride for them. Potluri Lakshmi explained her circumstances: “With the city hotels deciding not to accept orders from Swiggy, we may have lost our jobs, something that we are proud of as the occupation is predominantly male-dominated.”
Meanwhile, a few complained that they had not been paid adequately in the past four-five months.
“It has been five months since we have not been getting our salaries properly. There are delays in payment. Some part of our income is being cut for reasons undisclosed to us,” added one of the partners. Undeterred by the plight of hundreds, in-charge of Swiggy for Vijayawada, Mohammed, said he could not help the delivery partners as he did not have the authority to take decisions.