The Zomato delivery boys in Howrah, West Bengal, have been on an indefinite strike since Monday, protesting that the food being delivered by them is hurting their religious sentiments.
West Bengal: Zomato food delivery executives in Howrah are on an indefinite strike protesting against delivering beef and pork, say, “The company is not listening to our demands & forcing us to deliver beef & pork against our will. We have been on strike for a week now.” pic.twitter.com/tPVLIQc2SZ
— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2019
Delivery boys belonging to both Hindu as well as the Muslim community have refused to deliver beef or pork during the festive celebrations of Bakrid or Eid al-Adha to be celebrated this week on Monday.
They have put forward two of their demands. One is a pay hike and the other that the company must stop playing with the religious sentiment of their employees.
The employees have reportedly, informed their higher authorities but there is no response from them until now.
Mousin Akhtar, a Zomato food delivery staff said, “Recently some Muslim restaurants have been added to the online food delivery app. But we have some Hindu delivery boys who are denying to delivery beef. And it’s been heard that in few days we have to deliver pork, which we refuse to deliver. We are also facing payout issues and have the least medical facilities. All these are hampering the fraternal bond between us as we have to deliver food which is not permitted by our religion. Our religious sentiment is being hurt. The company knows everything, but in spite of helping us they are using false allegations against us.”
Another delivery boy said that their profession could not come in the way of their religion.
A Zomato food delivery staff in Howrah reportedly said that as a Hindu he has no issues working with Muslim colleagues. However, new restaurants Zomato has tied up with which ‘repel them’. “If any of us deny delivering any particular food then this would fall under denial dispute which would be followed up by the manager. The Muslims are equally feeling hurt with this decision as we Hindus are. The company is hurting our religious sentiment. We want this to be stopped immediately. Hence from Monday, we have stopped our service,” he said.
West Bengal minister and a TMC MLA from Howrah, Rajib Banerjee came out in support of the delivery staff on this issue. Assuring to conduct a probe in Rajib said, “I too feel that the organization performing such act should think about their action once again. They should not force any sect to go against the rules of their religion. This is very wrong. We had no idea about such actions. Since we have been approached, we shall surely take action against such deeds.”
The online food tech company, Zomato has recently been in news for the wrong reasons. Zomato had recently found itself in the centre of a huge controversy after its PR stunt on July 31 backfired miserably. In reply to one of its customers who demanded his order be cancelled as the delivery boy was a Muslim, Zomato quoted the tweet and said, “Food doesn’t have a religion.”
Raged by the hypocrisy, people had slammed Zomato for the stark contrast in the manner in which it deals with the grievances of different religious communities. Customers pointed out how Zomato customer care which had offered a moral science lecture to the Hindu customer, was seen prostrated before one community for Halal meat.