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Gig workers allege unfair ID blocking practice by MNCs

Hyderabad: Gig workers employed by app-based services, ranging from food delivery to cabs, are alleging unfair practices by companies who block their IDs for minute errors, without explaining the same.

The workers, most of whom operate vehicles, said that they are being left without earnings as the action is automated and taken incorrectly. Getting the IDs unblocked is a tedious process. They demanded that the companies assess each case and provide an explanation before blocking their ID.

Unions representing the four-lakh-odd such workers said that every day, there are at least three to four such instances reported. Workers have now started a signature campaign, bringing together counterparts from Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.

An office-bearer of the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) said, “Every week, we get at an average 25 to 30 cases of drivers IDs being blocked. Most of the drivers have no idea why their ID is blocked and have nowhere to go to get it fixed. It’s a tension that these workers live with every day.”

The worker added: “The Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) joined a global campaign to ‘Stop Unfair Deactivation’. The campaign aims to highlight the arbitrariness of deactivation by giant multinationals.”

David Raj, a driver with a cab aggregator, said his ID was blocked one-and-a-half years ago. “I have taken my car on loan, but I am unemployed. The reason the company gave was that someone created a fake ID on my name and it will be reactivated in a few days.”

He added, “When the company has advanced software, who can create a fake ID? The company must jump into action and resolve the issue soon. Why are we being penalised?”

Shek Kareem of Erra Kunta, another driver who works with a cab aggregator, said “There was some problem with the phone handset, for which the ID was blocked. I was driving with the app for the past three years, but since last week, I have been home.”

Workers alleged that the companies do not have transparent communication lines to help the, get issues resolved. They say that their fates rest with arbitrary resolution timelines set by the company they are associated with.

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