K’taka mulls providing social security to Uber, Ola, delivery

Team Udayavani, Oct 21, 2019, 8:06 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Labour Minister S Suresh Kumar on Monday said the government is looking at providing social security to workers associated with online or app based platforms and officials have been asked to prepare a draft framework in this regard.

“In the last few years, there is new labour section that has emerged, they may be Uber, Ola drivers, Flipkart or Amazon delivery persons, also food aggregator delivery persons.

They are a big section and mostly youths.. their representatives met me regarding lack of job security, incentive and several issues,” Kumar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said after meeting with companies and worker representatives, government felt it was its duty to provide social security to these workers.

“How it should be given, how it should be framed – for this Deputy Labour Commissioner Balakrishna has been given responsibility.

He will hold consultations with companies or aggregators and workers on forming of guidelines or framework. He has been asked to submit a draft framework within a month’s time,” he added.

Noting that when the Labour Act was enacted this sector of workers working for online or app-based aggregator platform was not thought about, Kumar said some companies call them partners, but for all practical purposes they were “employees only”.

“As this is a new area, it is a new challenge to us.. so our officials have been asked to look into measures that need to be taken for treating them as workers and providing them with social security and make a recommendation to the government,” he said.

The minister on Monday held marathon day long meetings with various trade unions, unorganised workers groups, industry representatives and industry bodies here.

Asked about there being no trade unions in the IT industry, which has been a long standing demand from employees belonging to the sector, Kumar said a meeting will be called soon exclusively on labour issues concerning IT industry.

Stating that several suggestions were made during the meetings, which the government is looking at implementing , the minister said, a tripartite system including employer, employee and government has to come into effect to address various labour issues.

“In other states, in Contract Labour Act there are sections for core and non-core activities, we will also examine to have it in the state to address the issues of work force, he said.

Kumar pointed out that unorganised work force in Karnataka was huge and according to 2011 numbers, it is to the tune of 2 crore people.

Protecting their interest and providing them facilities was government’s duty.

Sector wise industry meeting would be held to get their inputs, he said, adding that there were plans to hold the Karnataka Labour Conference on lines with Indian Labour Conference, probably in December.

“During the meeting industries sought permission to employ women at shop floors and for night shifts, to which we have told them that government will look into the pros and cons, also hold discussion with Law Department before taking a decision,” he said.

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