Hit by fuel prices, food delivery agents want charges to rise – The New Indian Express
Express press service
Delivery workers at app-based food aggregators, who already complain of long hours and low pay, are facing an additional burden falling on them this summer: soaring fuel prices.
With the price of gasoline reaching a new high of Rs 111.30 in the city, these workers who mostly
use two-wheelers for food delivery fear that the continued rise in fuel prices will further reduce their income.
Sayed Mustafa, a food delivery man, said: “For every one-hour work slot, the company provides a 10-minute break. But most of us are not able to use it because we may lose the pause while waiting for an order or searching for an address. Most of the time we only took advantage of the one hour lunch break. But even after working
for 10 to 12 hours, we are able to earn only Rs 500 per day.”
“Rising fuel prices would further decrease our revenue. Although the company gives us some
money as a gas allowance, it’s just a small amount. For example, I received Rs 12 as petrol allowance last week. What would I do with that? Our situation can only change if the company increases the delivery costs. At present they charge around Rs 4 for 1 km. They may have to charge at least 8` per km.”
Suresh, another food delivery man, said: “Aside from the price of fuel, the temperature will rise further in the coming months. Rising fuel and temperature would make my situation worse. I already store water and snacks in my bike as I have diabetes. I don’t know how long I would be able to continue this work.
Delivery staff also claimed they did not benefit from customers’ tips. “If a customer even tips Rs 15, it’s a huge relief. But most customers won’t tip. On any given day, a delivery person can receive a maximum of Rs 20 in tip. is likely to get up to Rs 50 in tip,” said S Aravind, another food delivery man.
Asked about the viability of e-bikes to solve the financial problems associated with rising prices, M Shakthivel, a food delivery man, said: “If the e-bikes have a technical problem, we have to take them to the showroom for repair. But in the case of other bikes, we can find a mechanic anywhere. Therefore, e-bikes are currently not viable.”