Delivery staff gets short shrift in e-commerce boom

Published on August 10, 2015 14:58:02 PM

- By Ramya Sree Patibandla

With the opening up and rise of the global economy in the 21st century, there have been a series of rapid and wide-ranging changes in the areas of technology, politics, socio-economic fields, culture, education, etc.

The swift growth of technology is resulting in continuous changes of socio-economic structures, which have led to the digital transformation and evolution.

The digital transformation, particularly, has created a buzz across the contours of the ever-changing world. It is happening everywhere like retail, banking, transportation, energy, telecom, healthcare, manufacturing, services, etc.

Let’s take the example of the remarkable transformation from retailers to �?e-tailers’, which is simply the makeover of leather wallet to mobile wallet.

Our country has witnessed a drastic change in recent years in the way India shops and trades. Mobile phone penetration and internet usage has given birth to the novel concept called 'E-commerce'.

The boom of e-tailers is stumbling the growth of retailers due to various reasons as the e-commerce platform enables customers to save time, select products among a wide range of varieties, offers better prices with offers and discounts, comparison of prices, anytime shopping, etc.

With the success of (global e-commerce giant), many homegrown e-tailer firms such as Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong, Junglee and many more have evolved in the recent past and are sustaining themselves by killing the traditional retailer business as the traffic is heading towards them.

Logistics is considered the backbone of the unprecedented growth of the e-commerce industry which is growing at a rate of 10-15 per cent annually.

The irony here is the efforts of delivery staff who play a vital role in e-tail business are not recognised. The recent agitation by delivery men from the logistics division of Flipkart, eKart in Mumbai has drawn attention and raised questions about fair labour practices followed by manpower and logistics companies.

One of the workers says that the newcomers has to deliver 30 parcels in a day, but when reality comes into the picture the minimum target of the newcomers is around 60-70 parcels a day.

Though the officials talk about the incentives, rewards and other allowances, workers say that such schemes are applicable only after meeting their monthly target of delivering 1,000 parcels per month.

Besides the target, delivery men also complain about the long working hours and also mention that they are not covered under Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme, which means when something goes wrong, the labour has to take care of their medical treatment. They further have to bear the additional fuel cost, maintenance and parking charges.