Wildberries workers started to protest but gave up too quickly

2021-09-17

Employees of Wildberries, one of the largest marketplaces in Russia, went on an “Italian strike” due to a decrease in wages. Despite the fact that pick-up point managers have been overworking (they had to perform the duties of storekeepers’ and cashiers’ in addition to their usual workload), the recently introduced “wage incentive system” led to an unprecedented drop in wages, sometimes by tens of thousands of rubles. As soon as the leadership threw a small handout to the striking collective, the strike died down very quickly.

From July 1, 2021, the Wildberries management introduced a special employee motivation system for pickup point managers. The size of the bonus has become directly dependent on the speed of order processing. The required norm, as expected, turned out to be impracticable, since in reality the managers had to do the work of two people (this is how the business saved on costs). There are more orders after the pandemic, but there is also a shortage of labor.

Employees claim that the absolutely impossible norm has led to very large losses in wages – up to 40 thousand rubles.

Not willing to accept the current state of affairs, the employees went on strike and filed a petition with the management. In the petition, the strikers demanded additional salary payments for August 2021, as well as revision of the new norms and the establishment of a fixed rest schedule.

This is an extract from the original text of the petition: “The new rules… take the speed of order processing as standard. However, their compilers did not take into account the fact that the pickup managers also fulfill the duties of storekeepers and cashiers. In fact, the stated payment terms are impracticable for most of the self-pickups in Russia due to the heavy workload of warehouses and a large flow of customers”.

The strike was initially soft, “Italian” – workers simply performed the required minimum of actions. And it brought immediate results: the management promised to “carry out the recalculation of wages for the shortest possible period”.

What does “recalculation for the shortest possible period” mean? What does “the minimum possible” mean for a large retail outlet? One day or one month? You should also keep in mind that the new standards have been introduced on July 1, and the strikers demand additional payments only for August.

It turns out that the workers did not receive any guarantees, but for some reasons they are ready to triumphantly complete the demarche. The text of the petition, edited by one of the employees, became quite herbivorous.

The amended text of the petition looks as following: “Dear Colleagues! Congratulations! Our words were heard. We were promised to recalculate wages for the shortest possible period. We live in a civilized country. Therefore, I urge you not to fan the revolution, but to START EVOLUTION and, following our example, talk to the management and resume the work of self-pickups in full mode”.

Time will tell whether the “evolution” will bring good things upon Wildberries workers, but for now, dear readers, do not give up the fight until you receive reinforced concrete guarantees from the business. The employer’s credo is to cut costs and save money on us, but our task is to not allow someone else’s business to profit from our families.