Only one more month until May Day and we are in the middle of the coordinations for Global May Day 2023. A call to action is already finalized. To discuss common coordinations during the week of action (April 26th – May 3rd) and how to inform more unions about the call, all identifying with the Global May Day self-conception are invited to participate in the next meeting on March 26th.
This year the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg actively supported a rally with the focus on the struggle against patriarchy on the global level. Inputs were held on the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz on the current conditions in Iran, Myanmar as well as Zimbabwe while also refering to patriarchal structures in Germany and Europe. Around 50 people joined the rally, partly with self-made signs.
The rally was shaped by faces of political prisoners in Iran, who are part of the feminist movement there. That’s why the predominant slogan of the day was Woman – Life – Freedom, which has its root in the Kurdish liberation movement.
After about an hour the main 8M demo of the day – organized by a broad local alliance passed by the rally. One of the rally organizers held a speech directed at the thousands of participants, pointing out the global dimension of the struggle against patriarchy.
For the rally a general leaflet was prepared in German and English as well as a hand-out focussing on the current uprising in Iran.
Below you will find some more on the content presented at the rally:
One of the focal points was the current feminist movement in Iran. Exemplarily inputs were given on the political prisoners Soheila Hejab, Sepideh Gholian, Zeynab Jalalian and the rappy Toomaj Salehi. Among others the song Shallagh by Toomaj and the rapper Justine was played, in which they express their support for the feminist movement:
That input was followed by a message recorded by our friends of the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM). The original audio file (in English) was played and each paragraph translated into German: (The translation can also be downloaded here (.pdf).)
Last but not least Patience prepared an input. Though she doesn’t live in Hamburg, she recorded a message for the rally as well. She focussed on the patriarchal circumstances in Zimbabwe. You can listen to her message here: (A translation of the text into German can be downloaded here (.pdf).)
The rally came to a closing end when members of the hip hop collective Rapfugees spontaneously performed some tracks. Everyone appreciated that. A big THANKS goes out to them! You can check out their music here.
Following the kick-off meeting on Feb. 11th everyone identifying with the Global May Day self-conception is invited to participate in the next meeting on March 12th. The focus will be on common coordinations in context of #GlobalMayDay2023 as well as a common call to action.
Members of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Hamburg together with women who fled from the regime in Iran decided to organize a rally focussing on the international nature of the struggle against patriarchy in the city center of Hamburg.
They adopt the slogan Woman – Life – Freedom, and call on others to display it as well. By doing so you support the feminist movement in Iran and help to globalize the resistance against patriarchy at the same time. The slogan originates from the Kurdish liberation movement and became a rallying cry in the latest feminist movement triggered by the death of Jina Mahsa Amini on September 16th 2022.
The rally in Hamburg will air feminist music and short speeches from different parts of the world.
Contribution by Patience on patriarchy in Zimbabwe:
After March 8th an overview of related activities in different parts of the world can be published on this website. In case you plan any actions, consider to include the slogan Woman – Life – Freedom and send a short report to the maling list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The comrades in Hamburg made this banner design as well as the below leaflet and invite you to distribute it in your location as well:
In case you want to make any changes to the leaflet, you can download the ZIP file HERE. It includes the .indd file for editing.
United for a powerful International Day of Feminist Struggles!
Following the kick-off meeting on Feb. 11th everyone identifying with the Global May Day self-conception is invited to participate in the next meeting on February 25th. The focus will be on common coordinations in context of #GlobalMayDay2023 as well as a common call to action.
Statement released by the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM) to commemorate two years of military dictatorship following the coup in February 2021:
A Statement by the worker mass regarding the 2nd anniversary of 2021 Anti-junta Movements
Date : 5th February 2023
The Military junta forcibly seized power on 1st February 2021. In such miserable times, the public also experienced misleading information such as no public-protesting within 72 hours of the attempted coup. On 5th February, conscious workers of FGWM rose up against the Military Dictatorship. Over 12,000 workers and union leaders from 10 factories began the “Red Ribbon” campaign. On the next day, February 6th, workers and labour unions leaders marched through Insein Road and Parami Sein Gayhar Shopping Mall amidst all the risks and threats, protesting the coup and the military dictatorship. Students, People and Monks who joined the protesting workers will be remembered by our FGWM.
On this 6th February, it has been two years since the worker mass courageously rose up against the coup. As FGWM, we would like to declare to the public that we will vigorously continue our struggle until the fall of the dictatorship along with the workers.
With ultimate faith to the revolution, Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM)
May Day is approaching fast! Some unions expressed interest in coordinating a framework for a common #GlobalMayDay2023. Join the open meeting on February 11th! At the meeting we will lay the foundation for this years coordinations.
In August foodpanda riders in Hong Kong submitted an open letter directed at the management following a fatal road accident of a fellow rider. In that letter – which is being supported by at least 25 rider unions internationally – they call for safer working conditions and compensations for the colleague’s family. (globalmayday.net) Reaction by the management: Some warm words, little action.
In September foodpanda finally introduced long awaited changes to the distance calculation system, the so called “real distance calculation scheme”. BUT, at the bottom line it resulted in pay cuts. In reaction riders went on strike for longer than 24 hours during the weekend in mid-October. (globalmayday.net) Reaction by the management: Some warm words, little action.
Consequently riders are back in action again and self-organized a second strike in a short period of time. On November 3rd and 4th (Thursday/ Friday) hundreds of riders refused to sell their labour and rallied at different points across Hong Kong instead:
On Nov 3 & 4, Hong Kong foodpanda riders had a strike of two full days, following the last one on Oct 15 & 16. The main issue is still the pay cut disguised under the new map system. This time, more zones are on strike and the service is shut down on a larger scale and to a greater extent. Riders become more experienced; the picket lines in some zones are performed in a highly organised way.
In the press conferences, riders’ show the unity and expose the lies made by foodpanda’s public relations. A motorcycle march is held at the busiest city centre.
The company still pretends that nothing happened and doesn’t listen to riders’ voice. The struggle will not end until they invite riders to table talk and fulfill the core demand for FAIR PAY and a TRANSPARENT distance system.
labour activist S. on the ground
We have at least 9 ‘delivery zones’ (that’s more than 14 districts in an administrative or commonly-known sense) where the Pandamart and most vendors are shown as ‘temporarily closed’. TST and Central are the busiest zones with the highest order volume. – Tsim Sha Tsui – To Kwa Wan & Hung Hom – Lai Chi Kok & Sham Shui Po – Central & Peak – Shatin – Tai Wai – Yuen Long – Tung Chung – Tsing Yi
In many other zones there are also riders on strike. The strike is everywhere.
The demands are basically the same as last time, with only slight modification, as this time it’s an escalation following FP’s refusal to talk and denial of the issues.
Fair Order fee a. announce the distance fee formula b. increase the distance fee rate and base fee c. Stack orders: should get 100% order fee; should know the payment of each order and reject accordingly
Freedom to decline and redispatch a. No suspension due to low AR (acceptance rate) b. Cancel the 3-redispatch-then-break rule c. The requirement for Quest should be 75% AR
Insurance protection Increase the accident insurance compensation amount & extend the insurance coverage to 1 hour before and after the shift
Vendor waiting time should be shortened a. Shouldn’t assign to riders long before prepared b. Waiting over 5 min should be paid
Set 5 mins time limit for the customer to pick up orders
Pandamart order weight should be limited to 5-6kg; auto-split should be done better
Transparent and fair suspension & termination process: the company should bear the burden of proof
Make the standard of the Proof of Delivery more reasonable
CS (rider support) should be more efficient and helpful
Provide extra fee for bad weather (rainy days, typhoons, very hot weather, etc)
Company must ensure parking places for riders AND cover 2 tickets each month
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: #DeliveryHeroRidersUnited #shameonfoodpanda #boycottfoodpanda #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)
A foodpanda rider died in an accident on July 26th in the streets of Hong Kong. Some colleagues and family members wrote a joint letter demanding from foodpanda to enhance work injury protection and review work safety risks.
Many unions of the #DeliveryHeroRidersUnited networkalready expressed their support for this initiative. The Riders’ Rights Concern Group (Hong Kong) calls on labour groups and rider unions worldwide to join this effort and sign the open letter by August 16th! The letter will be submitted to foodpanda Hong Kong.
To: foodpanda Hong Kong (Delivery Hero Hong Kong Limited)
We are heartbroken to see our colleague passed away in the accident on 26 July. As some of us work in the same zone, we know the brother was very nice and hardworking. Every day he rushed to work earlier due to recent pay cut by foodpanda, as well as a growing number of parking penalty tickets issued to him during the deliveries.
So, we share the sorrow with his family, and we hope his family can go through the difficult time. What makes us more painful is we know clearly that the same can happen to any of us.
We strive to run under the sun and in the rain just to make our ends meet. But if anything happens, the insurance, with such a low benefit level, won’t be able to support us and our family. Or maybe we won’t even be covered if it’s not during a delivery. Or foodpanda might not tell our families what happens until half a day later.
So what has foodpanda done to protect us in our work? What do we get as we risk our lives every day?
And it’s not only about insurance. We are rushing on the road faster because foodpanda cuts our wage and pushes us to complete more orders. We are working longer hours because foodpanda keeps recruiting more riders, making each of us get fewer orders. Also, foodpanda doesn’t help us with parking places and expenses. These all contribute to the risks in work safety. It’s all related.
Thus, we demand that foodpanda should:
1. account for the accident to the victim’s family, all foodpanda couriers, and the public,
2. raise the benefit level and broaden the coverage of the insurance
3. review all the factors that might lead to risks in work safety, including payment, control, app, etc.,
4. have a meeting with couriers on safety, injury, and insurance issues,
5. communicate with government departments about parking spaces, and cover some parking expenses.
A group of Hong Kong foodpanda riders (July 28th, 2022)
So far endorsed by:
Bangladesh Food Riders’ Union (Bangladesh)
CGT Riders – General Confederation of Labor (Spain)
Coordinadora Intersindical de Riders en Estado Español – CirRiders (Spain)
Corriente Sindical de Izquierdas – CsiRiders (Spain)
Free Workers’ Union (FAU) International Committee (Germany)
GWTUC – Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (Bangladesh)
Horeca United (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Hsinchu Delivery Industry Union (Taiwan)
Hsinchu Platform Delivery Workers Union (Taiwan)
Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britan (IWGB) Couriers & Logistics Branch (UK)
International Confederation of Labour (ICL) Working Group Asia
IFAT – Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers (India)
Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong – Kagulong (Philippines)
Myanmar Foodpanda Riders Union (Myanmar)
National Delivery Union (Taiwan)
Pingtung Platform Delivery Workers Union (Taiwan)
Radical Riders (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Riders Collective/ Vida Austria (Austria)
Riders in Lotta Torino – Deliverance Project (Turin, Italy)
S.V.E.O.D. – Base Union Assembly for Bike and Motorcycle Riders (Athens, Greece)
Taichung Delivery Platform Service Industry Union (Taiwan)
Taoyuan Digital Platform Delivery Workers Union (Taiwan)
TEHİS – Tourism, Leisure and Service Workers’ Union (Turkey)
TWU – Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (Australia)