Rahul Gandhi assured them of a law in line with Congress-led Rajasthan government to address their problems.
The Karnataka government has taken a significant step towards ensuring the social security of gig workers by announcing a free insurance cover. Under this initiative, gig workers employed by food delivery companies like Zomato, Swiggy, and other e-commerce platforms will be provided with a comprehensive insurance cover worth INR 4 lakh. This insurance coverage includes INR 2 lakh for life insurance and an additional INR 2 lakh for accidental insurance.
The premium for this insurance will be borne by the Karnataka government, reflecting their commitment to supporting the welfare of gig workers. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah highlighted the importance of providing social security to these workers in the unorganized sector who serve as full-time or part-time delivery personnel for popular platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, and Amazon.
This move aligns with the promises made by the Congress party in their election manifesto, which included the establishment of a ‘Gig Workers’ Welfare Board’ for Karnataka. The manifesto emphasized the allocation of a seed fund of INR 3,000 crore to support gig workers. If Congress comes to power, they plan to introduce a transparent policy to improve employment opportunities and conditions for gig workers.
The gig economy has seen remarkable growth in recent years, with an estimated 7.7 million workers engaged in this sector in 2020-21. This number is projected to rise significantly to 23.5 million by 2029-30, according to the NITI Aayog, a government think tank. However, along with this growth, there have been instances of protests by gig workers demanding better wages and improved working conditions.
In the past year, gig workers have raised their voices through protests. For instance, Blinkit delivery executives went on strike in the Delhi NCR region due to concerns over a new payment structure. Similarly, Dunzo riders in Bengaluru protested against changes in login timings and incentive structures, among other issues.
A report by Fairwork highlighted that Indian startups, including Ola, Uber, and Dunzo, have performed poorly in providing appropriate working conditions for gig workers. This highlights the need for comprehensive measures to protect the rights and well-being of these workers in the gig economy. The Karnataka government’s move to provide free insurance coverage is a significant step in the right direction to ensure the social security of gig workers and address their concerns.