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Zomato-Owned Blinkit Permanently Shut Down Dark Stores Amidst Delivery Worker Strike

Delivery workers have been protesting the company's decision to lower fixed payouts per delivery, which has led to disruptions and closures of several Blinkit stores

Zomato-Owned Blinkit Permanently Shut Down Dark Stores Amidst Delivery Worker Strike

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON April 18, 2023 9:01 AM

Blinkit, a quick commerce company owned by Zomato, has informed its delivery workers that some of its dark stores in Gurugram are being permanently shut down. The delivery workers who have been on strike against reduced payouts were sent out messages in a mix of Hindi and English through their partner app, stating that the stores were being shuttered forever and their IDs were being disabled. 

Although the exact number of stores being closed permanently could not be ascertained, it is reported that about 31 dark stores catering to Blinkit in Gurugram are currently operational with police protection and company-deployed bouncers.

The strike by around 2,500 Blinkit delivery workers in Gurugram started last week after the company reduced the fixed payouts per delivery from Rs 25 to Rs 15. More workers are also striking in Delhi and Noida in protest of this move. 

The hyperlocal delivery sector is known to cut delivery fees paid to workers whenever the volume of orders increases in an area, with a rough calculation that a delivery worker earns around Rs 15,000 per month in a top metro city. This calculation is based on the assumption that the gig worker is logged on for 10-12 hours per day for 26-27 days a month.

A source close to the developments stated that Blinkit plans to eventually roll out the new rate cards to all of its dark stores in each city where it operates. Multiple delivery workers have reported that Blinkit used to pay Rs 50 per order last year to its early batch of delivery workers and Rs 25 per order to those who joined more recently. 

In addition to per-order payouts, there used to be fuel and delivery volume-based incentives, which could go up to Rs 1,400 per week in some cases. The protesting workers are also angry as these incentives have been gradually phased out.

The company, formerly known as Grofers, was acquired by food delivery company Zomato in June last year in a deal worth Rs 4,447 crore (Rs 44.47 billion).

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