More than 100 beauticians employed by Urban Company went on strike against the firm on Friday, October 8. They were protesting outside its office in Gurugram against low wages, high commissions collected by the organisation, and unsafe working conditions.
The striking women, working as beauticians and spa attendants, accused the company of "unfair trade practises" and raising commissions it charges them to as much as 30 per cent. As per reports, they also raised concerns about late-night shifts.
"Charged Rs 2,000 For Accomplish Less Than 30 Jobs In A Month"
"Subha 7 se raat k 9-10 baj jaate hain, ghar pe bache ko taala laga k aaye hain [we leave for work at 7 in the morning, we sometimes have to lockout kid at home]," said a woman striking against the company, as reported by The Entrackr
They further claimed that the corporation does not offer them any insurance. And they are frequently allocated to night shifts.
"Is it safe for a woman to go to someone's residence so late at night?" said a woman protesting the firm, as per the Entrackr report.
The report further stated that the women were compelled to purchase beauty goods from the company rather than from the market. The employees mentioned that these products have considerable markup over market costs.
The ladies claimed that if they accomplish less than 30 jobs in a month, they are charged ₹2,000. They alleged that the company had cautioned them against calling for a strikethrough an official communication. A screenshot of the message has gone viral on social media.
"Urban Company will take strict police action against anyone who stops other partners from going to work," the message read.
In another incident, one of the beautician partners of the company shared a screenshot that she received ₹67 as payout after providing a service worth ₹1,626.
Urban Company Responds
The home service marketplace took cognisance of the incident and stated that it has been striving to improve both the earnings as well as the well-being of its service partners. In a blog post, the company said that it is "not perfect" and "might have made mistakes in our journey". It further informed that they are going to roll out programmes aimed at benefitting the employees.
"Under no circumstances, will we ever shy away from doing the right thing for our stakeholders," Urban Company said.
"One of the tweets recently claimed that a beauty partner made Rs 67 for 4 orders. This is a mis-representation of facts. The screenshot shown is not that of her earnings page but a settlement ledger of the bank transfer. The partner accepted cash payments for 2 orders and online payment for the remaining two. Her net earnings after UC commissions and other fees for the 4 orders in question delivered between 1–3 Oct was Rs 1,941."
"We will publish an update on this blogpost at the end of October with the revised data. Our estimates suggest that in the offline world, service professionals earn on average between Rs 12,000-15,000 per month," it added.