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10 Nov 2023

India: Gig workers at risk of injuries & death amid attacks, incl. customer violence against Uber, Swiggy & Flipkart workers, incl. cos response & non-responses

SFIO CRACHO, Shutterstock (licensed)

In October 2023, East Asia Forum released an article outlining occupational health and safety concerns for platform workers in India, in the context of crimes against gig workers.

The article references three cases of attacks against gig workers: a female Uber driver who was attacked and had her neck ‘slashed’ while at work; a Swiggy delivery driver who was attacked by a customer’s dog and passed away after jumping from a third storey window to save himself; and a Flipkart delivery driver who was stabbed by a customer. The article alleges most platforms denied knowledge of or responsibility for the events and made no changes to prevent further tragedy.

The article links the attacks to the concept of ‘necrocapitalism’ – using an employee’s time, body and life to maximise profits. The article also emphasises the harmful impact of algorithms used to monitor and manipulate worker behaviour. It links workplace injuries to the tight deadlines employees are required to meet while navigating heavy traffic. The article also notes that women are especially vulnerable to abuse.

The article goes on to highlight some positive regulatory developments in India in relation to gig work, including through the 2023 Rajasthan Gig and Platform Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, which moves towards attributing gig workers employment status, but notes the acute power differential between platforms and workers remains a key challenge.

In October 2023, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Uber, Swiggy and Flipkart to respond to the East Asia Forum article, to outline the steps they take to protect the health and safety of their workers; and to outline the steps they have taken or will take to provide assistance, financial or otherwise, to the attacked workers and/or their families. Uber’s response is provided in full below. Swiggy and Flipkart did not respond to the Resource Centre's requests for comment.

Company Responses


No Response


No Response