How 'terminated' Zomato employees protested against Chinese investment in firm
A group of employees of food-delivery platform Zomato tore and burnt the company T-shirts to protest against Chinese investment in the firm, which said the protesters were terminated recently and vented their ire by riding a "wave of sensitive sentiment".
Zomato filed a police complaint against those who took part in the agitation that came in the backdrop of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.
During the protest at Behala in the southwestern parts of the city on Saturday, some agitators claimed that they quit their jobs as Zomato has a sizeable Chinese investment and urged people to stop ordering food via the company.
In 2018, Ant Financial, a part of Chinese firm Alibaba, had invested USD 210 million in Zomato for a 14.7-per cent stake. The food delivery company recently raised an additional USD 150 million from Ant Financial.
"Chinese companies are making profits from here and attacking the Army of our country. They are trying to grab our land. This cannot be allowed," one of the protesters said.
Another protester said they were ready to starve but would not work for companies that have investments from China.
In May, Zomato laid off 520 employees or 13 per cent of its workforce in a huge retrenchment exercise due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A company spokesperson on Sunday said, "This protest was conducted by a small number of delivery partners, who had their contracts terminated recently for repeatedly violating our platform guidelines."
"Unfortunately, in their spite, they decided to get themselves heard by riding the wave of a sensitive sentiment. We have filed a police complaint against these miscreants," she told PTI.
However, the nature of the complaint was not disclosed.
The official claimed that Zomato's operations are continuing smoothly in Kolkata as other delivery partners have not taken part in the "misleading protest".
The company has around 3,000 delivery partners in the city, she said.