For more than one year riders in Hong Kong have been waiting for Foodpanda (Delivery Hero) to implement the real distance map calculation scheme. Last month this new scheme was finally announced.
Now it turns out that the long awaited new scheme results in a pay cut.
Consequently riders get organized and went on strike today.
A fellow comrade S. on the ground reports:
The new real-distance map system in Foodpanda Hong Kong brings new problem. What riders feel is, the distance calculation is actually more accurate, but the distance fee RATE has been reduced, and the range for only paying the base fee has been extended. For example, in the old map, let’s say it’s $1 for every 1km outside the 1km base, now it becomes, e.g., $0.5 for every 1km outside the 1.5km base. Overall, workers feel the distance payment has been reduced by 40-50%, and the overall order pay and income reduced by 10-20%. It’s a PAY CUT.
Thus, after a discussion by representatives from different zones, workers decided to stage a strike from this Saturday 6pm to Sunday fall day. If no good result, they will not pick up Pandamart orders for the whole week and continue a full-scale strike on the next weekend. The main demand of the strike is to ensure transparency of and increase in distance payment.
An update shared a few hours later:
The strike started at 6pm 15/10 and will continue until midnight of the next day. In different districts colleagues gathered at ‘Pandamarts’ (Foodpanda’s grocery delivery warehouses) to do picketing there, convincing more riders to join the strike. All across Hong Kong a few hundred or maybe over a thousand riders are on strike. In a few zones the Pandamart operation was fully stopped and was shown in the customer app as closed. In two zones all the restaurant orders were also fully stopped. A press conference was held in the zone where the recent pay cut is the most severe, with around 50 riders attending.
Until the company invites workers to negotiate and give acceptable response to the demands, the industrial action will be continued by boycotting all Pandamart orders in the next week and staging another full strike next weekend.
And he emphasizes the need for international solidarity:
We request all colleagues from different countries to support the Hong Kong strike by reposting news in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., with the following hashtags:
#foodpanda #foodpandaHK #DeliveryHero
If you can do solidarity action in any form, such as banners, demonstration, etc., and post them on the social media and share with us, it will be more than helpful and will encourage local HK couriers immensely.
It is highly possible the new map and distance calculation system will be launched in other countries as well. In many countries, colleagues (even not only in Delivery Hero, but also other companies) have been asking for a real-distance map, which HK just gets through last year’s strike, but the company distorts it and makes it a pay cut in a tricky form. This again highlights that we need FULL TRANSPARENCY in the algorithm of payment calculation, which should be a universal demand shared by all platform delivery riders, otherwise the companies can always cut the pay arbitrarily.
1. Fair Order fee
a. Announce the distance formula
b. Increase the distance fee rate
c. Stack orders should get 100% order fee
d. The base fee can’t be reduced
2. Freedom to decline and redispatch
a. No suspension due to low acceptance rate (AR)
b. Give us 5 chances to redisptach
c. The requirement for Quest should be 75% AR
3. Increase the accident insurance compensation amount & extend the insurance coverage
4. Vendor waiting time should be shortened
a. Shouldn’t assign to riders long before prepared
b. Waiting over 5 min should be paid
5. Pandamart order weight should be limited to 5-6kg; auto-split should be done better
6. Company must ensure parking places for riders AND cover 2 tickets each month
7. Transparent and fair suspension & termination process: the company should bare the burden of proof
8. Proof of delivery: rider can take picture without internet and upload it later
9. Rider support (CS) should be more efficient and helpful
10. Provide extra fee for bad weather (rainly days, typoons, etc)
Updates on the struggle can also be found on the twitter channel of the Riders’ Rights Concern Group.