The struggle against the freelance regime and for the compensation of petrol expenses continues also in Greece. Following a four hours work stoppage last week, hundreds of efood (Delivery Hero) riders joined the strike rally in the city center of Athens on June 24th, 2022. Participation among the delivery workers was high. No business as usual for the bosses at efoods on that day.
Friends of Foodpanda Myanmar sent a solidarity message, which was read out to the striking riders and was published on the website of the Base Union Assembly for Bike and Motorbike Riders (SVEOD) in Greek and English.
Solidarity to efood’s riders from the Foodpanda (Myanmar) colleagues on strike
Dear colleagues of efood in Greece,
It has now been 17 days since we, Foodpanda (Myanmar) riders, have begun the strike (work stoppage) against foodpanda (Myanmar) for our labour rights on June 6th, 2022. During the first week of the strike, we launched blackcross campaign (i.e. a campaign that raises awareness about the exploitation of foodpanda), the second week of the strike focused on customer campaign (i.e. we distributed pamphlets mobilizing the customers to stand in solidarity with us) and in the third week of the strike, we began “Zero Customer” campaign (i.e. organizing and mobilizing customers until no single customer uses foodpanda). However, foodpanda is still ignoring our demands and has not yet responded to our demands. Thus, we will continue our strike.
Now, there are many difficulties that riders face due to political instability in Myanmar. For instance, riders have been stopped by authorities at checkpoints on the road during the delivery. When this happens, riders have no ID to show to the authorities that proves that we are foodpanda riders, and thus in certain occasions some riders have been temporarily detained. Moreover, the political instability caused the rise in the prices of basic commodities which are essential to the survival and the needs of us riders and our families. While foodpanda riders are suffering from such a toll of difficulties, foodpanda’s action of cutting down the delivery fees to its lowest, taking profit of the opportunities that the political instability offers, is very unfair and exploitative.
In the past, we used to get paid more than 0.55 $ per delivery and now we merely get 0.22 $. There are also losses for us in the payment due to the linear measurement of the distance between the order pick-up point and the drop-off point. This measurement doesn’t actually reflect the actual distance that we travel on the ground. We also have to use our own bicycles or motorbikes to carry out the deliveries (maintenance fees of these means comes from our pocket, too). In addition to this, we have to use our own money to buy the delivery box, the foodpanda uniform and the helmet of the company. Though foodpanda made an agreement with us stating that we are independent contractors/freelancers, we actually have no choice to choose the shifts we want to work for, in reality. This is because the freedom to choose the shifts is controlled by the batch system. The low batch (rank) riders can take up the leftover shifts only after the high batch (rank) riders have choosen their preferred shifts. We can’t have neither one holiday during each week, nor break time during the shifts because we are demoted once we take a break. Foodpanda also demotes our batch if we refuse to take an order with an unfair pay according to the distance. There are other computer system controls imposed on the riders (for instance: we are put in auto-break mode while we are working, demoting to lower batches without valid reasons, and closing our riders’ accounts under various reasons). Foodpanda company continuously recruits new riders without being able to gurantee sufficient delivery orders for the existing riders and imposes tight regulations on us. For these different kinds of oppression and exploitation, we went on strike against the company making the following 8 demands:
1. To set the minimum delivery fee to 670 kyats ($ 0.36) per delivery and increase the fee depending on the distance of the delivery and the batch of riders.
2. To restrain the strict rules of the computer system of the software that is controlling the riders.
3. To take responsibility for any accident or injury that happens during work hours. (Please be informed that we, the riders, will not accept the plan by the Foodpanda (Myanmar) after the recent negotiation to buy health and motor insurance with our own money by contracting with a third-party private insurance company.)
4. To let riders take a full break day a week without taking any shifts as destined by the company if they wish to do this because of their personal matters.
5. To use the Google Map system to determine both the travel distance of the order and to calculate the distance between the rider and the customer.
6. To notify and inform the riders, concerning any changes made by Foodpanda (Myanmar), formally through the company’s official social media pages and Telegram channels at least a week in advance.
7. To initiate a Hotline Phone number for riders to contact the company if they wish to resolve urgent issues or problems at any time.
8. To issue a Foodpanda rider identification card for the delivery riders.
While we (Foodpanda Myanmar riders) are on strike, we came to know that you, our colleagues, brothers and sisters riders of efood in Greece, are also fighting agaist the exploitation and violation of your labour rights by efood (Delivery Hero, the same company that owns Foodpanda). We, the Foodpanda Myanmar riders, stand in solidarity with you, efood riders. Let’s show Delivery Hero the power of the united riders!
Foodpanda Myanmar riders.source: sveod.gr
The rally also went in front of the Ministry of Labour. And the ministry reacted: It agreed that efood is acting illegally on several issues, e.g. not providing adequate means of personal protection and not properly reimbursing petrol expenses. The ministy confirmed to have a clarifying meeting with the workers and company.
Stay informed on future developments on #DeliveryHeroRidersUnited.