In the ongoing tussle between riders and the food-delivery app Zomato, the company on Sunday said it can't factor vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences into delivery logistics. But, it said it would definitely address concerns of protesting riders.
Zomato's statement came after more than 15 riders in West Bengal's Howrah called for an indefinite strike claiming the company "forced" them to deliver pork and beef.
Hindus uncomfortable with beef, Muslims with pork
The protesting group, consisting of both Hindu and Muslim executives, voiced their opinion on Sunday evening.
While Hindus aren't comfortable with handling beef, Muslim executives aren't willing to deliver pork, the group said.
"We are not ready to deliver such things on any condition. We are forced to deliver such things," one of the protesters, Mausin Akhtar told media.
Allegedly, Zomato has also rolled back their payouts
"We are not ready to deliver such things on any condition but are forced. The company has also rolled back our payout. We have decided to call for an indefinite strike," Akhtar went on.
Another one accused Zomato of "playing" with religious sentiments
Separately, another rider accused Zomato of playing with religious sentiments.
"The company assigns us to deliver any kind of order to the customer. We, the Hindus, were asked to deliver beef, while in the coming days our Muslims brothers will be asked to deliver pork. This is not acceptable," the person said.
As the protest gained social media attention, Zomato released a statement.
On protesters' demand, Zomato spoke about India's diverse nature
In a late-night statement, Zomato said, "In a country as diverse as India, it is impossible to ensure that vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences are factored into delivery logistics. Delivery partners are unequivocally made to understand the practical nature of the job as they choose to enter the workforce."
Further, the company said it was working towards addressing the complaints of the protesting executives.
Earlier, Zomato said "food has no religion"
This protest comes close on heels of an incident in Jabalpur when a man, named Amit Shukla, canceled an order from Zomato as the company had assigned him a Muslim executive.