The Kerala High Court has directed the State police to ensure that strike by Swiggy delivery partners (DPs) does not affect the law and order situation in the state.
It also asked the law enforcement officers to see that the Swiggy officials, its employees and other DPs are unharmed.
Directing them to issue notices to the agitating DPs, their union, Food Order Delivery Workers District Council, and its office-bearers, the court posted the case for Tuesday.
Following the failure of the tripartite talks held in the presence of the state labour officials last month which failed to find a solution with regards to increased wages, Swiggy delivery boys in nine out of the 11 delivery zones at the commercial capital of the state- Kochi is on an indefinite strike.
The present plea was moved by Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd (Swiggy) to provide police protection at its office premises, restaurants, and its DPs in the event of any illegal use of force by the other DPs who are currently on strike.
Swiggy in its plea pointed out that a few persons who are working as DPs had approached them making illegal demands which were not acceded to.
Subsequently, these persons were intimidating other DPs to stop work, through force and threats of violence, due to which several complaints were made before police stations across the district of Ernakulam.
The plea said that since then, many DPs in Ernakulam informed the police officers of a possible law and order situation as a consequence of the illegal force and threats of violence perpetrated on the DPs willingly engaged in the delivery services petitioner.
Swiggy also pointed out that the condition is going from bad to worse and could result in an imminent law and other problems unless they are granted protection.
Therefore, Swiggy approached the Court for police protection to declare that the DPs have no authority to call for and hold strikes by using violence, intimidation, or threats.
Last month, there was a warning protest announced by the delivery boys demanding a hike in wages from Rs 20 to a minimum of Rs 35 for every delivery made in a four sq km radius at Kochi.
Consequent to the indefinite strike a few thousands delivery boys will not work till there is a settlement, but the company which has an agreement with a third party company , their delivery boys will be available for delivery.
Incidentally, one of the demands of the protesters is third party company delivery charges are higher than what they get and hence there should be a re-look on that aspect also.