Foodpanda delivery workers have gone on strike due to recent changes in calculating their earnings. The strike began from 6pm on Saturday night and ended by Sunday midnight with workers involved promising to decline orders for Pandamart throughout the week.
Those involved in the strike held up signs at Kowloon Bay, in front of a Pandamart store reading “Stop Wage Cut” and “Say No to Slavery” in response to Foodpanda’s new distance calculating. The system, launched on September 29, utilizes Google Maps to calculate the actual distance traveled by the rider instead of their previous system of measuring only linear distance.
“We are making at least 30 percent less than what we made last year,” a delivery worker who goes by the name Boss said on an RTHK video. He further stated that around 1,000 more delivery workers participating in the strike throughout Hong Kong share similar experiences with the new system.
The group protesting met with the press on Sunday night to announce that they would take further action by avoiding Pandamart orders from Monday to Friday. They also stated that more strikes are to come if their demands are not heard by Foodpanda.
Foodpanda delivery worker driving along side tram line on Hong Kong island. A common sight in the city. (Source: Getty Images)
On Saturday night, Foodpanda told HKFP that they have invested 17 percent more in paying for delivery fees since the implementation of the new distance calculating system. It was designed in response to 15 demands made during the November strike last year. They also noted that some changes and adjustments must be made in order to improve their new system. At the moment, the Foodpanda app displays that “due to order surge, delivery fees may be affected” and has since been encouraging users to use their pick-up function.
The continued issues workers are facing are part of the “gig economy” where workers are hired on a freelance basis and lack support from a union or a leading figure to aid in arguing on their behalf.
“The way they treat us is unfair,” Maheet, a Foodpanda delivery worker who has been taking on jobs since early last year, said. “We strike because they are always reducing pay and (there is) no clear boss or person we can ask for help.”
Feature image from Julian Tong on Unsplash.