Expressing their anger over the Walmart-Flipkart deal, 100 national groups on Monday released an open statement highlighting multifaceted dangers to the Indian economy and called for nullification of the deal.
"The worst affected will be small brick-and-mortar retail stores, which account over 90% of the Indian retail sector, SME manufacturers, small delivery companies and suppliers of goods including farmers whose margins will be ruthlessly squeezed. Walmart is well-known for its global supply chain, especially of cheap goods from China, which means local manufacturers and suppliers, will suffer deep hits," said Mohan Gurnani, President of the Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT)
Along with CAMIT, organisations such as Chattisgarh Chamber of Commerce, Indian Chamber of Commerce and others will campaign against the deal.
"Government should consult traders and first frame policy for domestic e-commerce pending which the Walmart-Flipkart deal should be shelved," added Shyam Bihari Misra, President, Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal.
Amitava Guha of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said that Walmart has a long history of being anti trade unions, paying poverty wages and disregarding social security laws. In e-commerce, work will also be outsourced to couriers and other service providers, making it a long stretch to prove that they are workers.
Further, even if Walmart and Amazon employ a few thousand more, they are unlikely to neutralise the massive employment loss associated with the collapse of both the formal and informal retail sector.
The statement calls for a national debate involving all the affected constituencies, and an informed decision based on it. The groups intend to submit the statement to the government and members of parliament.
The group includes trade unions such as All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) together representing workers across the country.