Gig Workers Move SC Seeking Social Security Benefit

Story Highlights
  • SC issued notice in a writ petition seeking social security rights for “gig workers”.
  • The bench pointed out that the new legislation Social Security Code 2020.
  • Gifg workers and platform workers are being exploited through forced labour.

New Delhi: Some of India’s gig workers associated with new-age firms like Uber, Ola, Zomato and Swiggy are seeking government intervention to help them overcome the impact of the pandemic and make their employers pay for it. The Indian Federation of App-based Transport workers (IFAT) filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court two days ago, seeking their inclusion as “unorganized workers” or “wage workers” within the Unorganized Workers Social Welfare Security Act, 2008.

The association, in collaboration with concerned individuals and organizations, noted that the denial of social security to gig workers and “platform workers’ has resulted in their exploitation through forced labour. The transport gig workers noted that the failure to register them as unorganized workers or provide them with social security is violating their right to life and personal liberty as well as the right to equality. Hence, they want their hands off any responsibility or accountability over the lives and livelihood of the contractual workers associated with them.

IFAT added that the contracts were made in a way to disguise the nature of the relations between the gig workers and these apps. They also cited a recent Supreme Court which stated that Uber drivers are in fact workers in the company and are entitled to certain benefits. The workers’ association added that the transport gig workers in India are struggling with decreasing income, increasing fuel prices, immense pressure from loan recovery agents as well as state officials, who too are trying to make a living in this pandemic.

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