The delivery executives of India's leading online food delivery platform, Zomato, in West Bengal's Howrah have alleged that the company is hurting their religious sentiments by "forcing" them to deliver beef and pork.
The protesting Zomato food delivery executives, comprising both Hindus and Muslims, have also threatened that they will launch an indefinite strike on Monday to protest the company's policy.
Zomato delivery executives have laid out two demands
The delivery executives said Zomato is forcing them to deliver beef and pork despite their refusal. They said that delivering such food is beyond their religious guidelines.
Threatening to go on an indefinite strike, they laid out two demands. Their first demand is, Zomato should revise the pay order, and the second one is, the company must stop playing with its employees' religious sentiments.
Protest comes ahead of Bakrid festival on Monday
The Zomato delivery executives' protest comes ahead of the Bakrid or Eid al-Adha, which is expected to be celebrated on Monday (August 12).
Reportedly, Hindu delivery executives objected to restaurants asking them to deliver beef but Zomato is forcing them to deliver at any cost.
Muslim delivery executives, who are being forced to deliver pork to customers, are also in a similar situation.
This is very wrong: TMC's Howrah MLA Rajib Banerjee
Meanwhile, West Bengal minister and TMC's Howrah MLA, Rajib Banerjee, asked Zomato to reconsider its policy before forcing its executives to deliver food that hurts their religious sentiments.
"They should not force any sect to go against...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," he added.
Company is not listening to our demands: Delivery executives
While some reports said that the Zomato food delivery executives will launch an indefinite strike on Monday, news agency ANI reported they are already on a strike.
"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," ANI quoted some executives as saying.
Here's what the Zomato delivery executives said
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
'Food doesn't have a religion,' Zomato said earlier
Notably, in July, when a customer requested the cancelation of an order after Zomato allocated a "non-Hindu" delivery executive, the company refused to change the delivery executive or cancel the order.
The customer wanted to cancel his order as a Muslim executive was delivering his order.
At the time, Zomato had tweeted, "Food doesn't have a religion. It is a religion."