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Exclusive: Urban Company’s women workers strike against alleged exploitation

Update: Within a week after Entrackr reported the protest, Urban Company slashed the highest platform commission cap from 30% to 25% for beauty service professionals.

More than 100 women working with Urban Company as beauticians went on strike against the company on Friday protesting against low wages, high commissions collected by the firm and poor safety working conditions for them. 

Entrackr is at the strike location which is happening outside Urban Company’s Gurugram office. Police was also deployed at the site. 

The striking women, who work as beauticians and spa workers, said that Urban Company has hiked the commissions it charges from them to as high as 35%. 

“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 have to sometimes lock out kid at home],” said a woman striking against the company. 

They also alleged that they are not offered any kind of insurance from the company. And often are assigned to work at night. 

“Is it safe for a woman to be going to someone’s house that late in the night?” a woman protesting against the company said. 

Urban Company also mandated that these women purchase beauty products from the company and not from outside, these women alleged. These women said the products have a significant mark up compared to market prices.

These women allege they are charged Rs 2,000 if they do less than 30 jobs in a month.

Urban Company also sent a message to these women warning them against striking. 

Urban Company

“Urban Company will take strict police action against anyone who stops other partners from going to work,” read a message sent by the company on these women’s partner apps. 

At least five police officials were deployed at the protest. 

Urban Company’s CSO Captain Kamal Yadav who was at the protest site asked Entrackr to step out from the company’s property when we were trying to cover the voices of the striking women. 

“I don’t care,” said Yadav when this reporter told him about covering the protest. 

Urban Company declined to comment on the story.

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