KTR assures policy to prevent gig workers' exploitation
DECCAN CHRONICLE | B. Krishna Mohan
Hyderabad: The state government is aiming to build a framework that protects gig workers' rights and prevents companies from exploiting them, stated industries minister K.T. Rama Rao.
Participating in an event to launch Flipkart’s new fulfillment centre in Sangareddy, he asserted that the state government will create a model in which gig workers feel secure about their livelihoods and there will be no sweatshops. The initiative will be a tripartite agreement between the state government, e-commerce companies and their vendors or suppliers.
"Booming e-commerce has redefined buying and selling patterns, resulting in a thriving gig economy. Books, fast moving commodities, and appliances are all sold and purchased online. Companies must take steps to guarantee that gig workers' livelihoods are not adversely affected by external factors beyond their control. Efforts should be made to instill trust and confidence in them that their families would be taken care of. These steps will encourage more people to work in the gig economy," the minister stated.
Rama Rao also asked Flipkart and other e-commerce companies to collaborate with the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) to train manpower for the logistics sector. Telangana, due to its geographical location, has the potential to be a logistics hub for the southern states in addition to connecting the north and south states. He advised corporations to capitalise on the presence of several self-help groups in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to establish women-run fulfilment centres.
The focus should be on protecting workers' rights, and companies should provide facilities such as crèches and other amenities to encourage men and women to work at the centres. "There will be no sweat shops, no exploitation," Rama Rao affirmed.
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy stated that the fulfilment centre, which spans four lakh square feet, will boost the company’s supply chain infrastructure in the state. So far, Flipkart has created 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in Telangana and enabled 14,000 local sellers, he said.
Flipkart operates six fulfilment centres in Telangana, handling a wide range of products including appliances, furniture, and groceries. The state has over 100 distribution hubs. Flipkart's Kirana Delivery initiative also includes about 5,000 kiranas in Telangana.
Flipkart and the Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) entered into an MoU last year to promote market access and growth for farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and self-help groups in Telangana. Flipkart also has a green data center in the state that is powered by renewable energy, he informed.