While online retailer Flipkart scored across most of the parameters, it failed in recognising a "body that can undertake collective representation/bargaining”.Sutrishna Ghosh
Flipkart, the poster child of Indian ecommerce has scored the highest in terms of fairness of working conditions, payment of minimum wages, and across a range of other factors to emerge on top of a scoreboard rating the India gig economy. The Walmart-acquired company was followed by other prominent Indian startups in the list including Dunzo, Bigbasket, Zomato, Swiggy, and others.
The ranking, based on a Fairwork academic research project, uses multiple parameters. This is aimed at rewarding Indian gig platforms that go beyond the basic needs of its workers. These are the firms that look to “proactively mitigate and manage risk.”
With the Indian tech startup ecosystem receiving an exponential boost in the past decade, the topic of blue collar workers in the country has become a recurrent one. Several pointed question are being raised in this respect like are these workers being paid the local minimum wage? Is the organisation doing enough to improve the working condition? And what about mitigation of task-specific risks?
Fairwork study, published by Oxford Internet Institute and compiled by International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIT-B) along with other institutes, addresses all these concerns and questions with the help of its five Fairwork principles – Fair Pay, Fair Conditions, Fair Contracts, Fair Management, and Fair Representation.
Under these broad categories, the Indian startups were further ranked in accordance with factors such as “clear terms and conditions”, inclusion of “freedom of association and worker voice mechanism”, “evidence of equity and/or informed consent for data collection”, etc.
Online retailer Flipkart scored most of these boxes, only failing to recognise "body that can undertake collective representation/bargaining”.
“Lacking the ability to collectively bargain, platform workers have little ability to negotiate wages and working conditions with their employers who are often on the other side of the world. This project undertakes innovative research that focusses on these workers, their experiences, labour processes, and the organisation of their work,” the website of the Fairwork project mentioned.
While Flipkart and a couple of foodtech unicorns took the top spots, at the other end of the spectrum were Uber, Ola, and Foodpanda with the lowest scores in the Indian ecosystem.