Foodpanda Unfazed by Riders on Strike

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Food delivery service Foodpanda Malaysia appears unmoved despite an ongoing strike against its new pay scheme.

At a briefing at a Kuala Lumpur hotel yesterday, the company’s managing director Sayantan Das said delivery riders who don’t want to work should swap their swifts with other riders who do, so not to affect the latter’s income.

“If you don’t want to work, please give or swap your shift with other riders because you are affecting their livelihood,” he said.

Sayantan was asked about riders who have gone on strike by logging onto the Foodpanda app but refuse to accept delivery orders.

Referring to supposed threats that riders who join the strike would have their ID terminated, Sayantan denied such threats were made.

“During the strike, we did not terminate any ID or threaten the riders.

“Our message is that if you don’t want to work, we’re okay because going on strike is not against the law,” he told reporters at a press conference later.

Asked about government intervention in the matter, Sayantan explained that the government is not involved.

“The decision was made amongst ourselves without government influence, but we would welcome government involvement in the decision.

“Their efforts help improve market conditions for us and help guide us in our decision-making,” he said.

Between Oct 1 and Oct 3, Foodpanda delivery riders have gone on strike against a new pay scheme that came into force for delivery riders outside the Klang Valley since Sept 30.

Sayantan said the company was not affected by the strike.

“The strike was done by a very small group of our riders. We have studied and analysed the riders; less than one per cent had started the strike,” he said.

Previously, despite the company’s assertions that the new pay scheme would raise incomes, riders had claimed that they sometimes had to wait several hours without receiving any orders, meaning their pay would be reduced under the scheme.

This was because the new scheme abolishes an hourly wage in favour of an increased delivery fee.

“The new scheme would, in fact, enable performing riders to earn as much as 50% more, according to data collected after its implementation on Sept 30,” Sayantan said.

“For example, a rider who previously received RM5 per order would now receive RM7 per order. The new scheme works on an efficiency model, whereby riders who are doing more deliveries would earn more.”

Under the new scheme, riders will get RM7 per order plus RM1 per order for all orders between 11pm and 9am daily.

Also, they will get a RM150 bonus upon completing 40 work hours a week and an additional bonus if they complete a minimum of 80 orders each week.

Previously, riders were paid RM4 per hour plus RM3 to RM5 for every delivery made but the quantum is based on their performance.

If they completed at least 60 hours of work a week, they were paid an additional “bonus” of RM100.

Sayantan said the company will continue to implement the mechanism outside Klang Valley for at least another four weeks before they decide whether a review is necessary.

He added that riders would no longer need to work for long hours, as the new scheme correlates to the number of orders delivered per hour.

Sayantan Das said the new scheme, which took effect on Sept 30, covered about 3,900 or 30 per cent of riders outside the Klang Valley.

There are 13,000 riders nationwide.

In Kuala Lumpur, Sayantan said riders received a base pay of RM4 per hour and between RM3 and RM5 per order.

He said on average, depending on the batch that they were in, riders could earn RM7,000 to RM10,000 per month.

“The minimum earning potential if you work 30 to 40 hours per week can range from RM400 to RM700,” he said.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has branded Foodpanda as arrogant for refusing to reconsider its new and contentious pay structure.

Taking to Twitter, Syed Saddiq said consumers can bring down arrogant businesses just as they can vote out elected representatives.

“Arrogance is not the way to resolve this matter. As a corporation, they were built up by workers and consumers and can be brought down by the workers and consumers.

“Only support corporations that are fair to workers and consumers.”

His tweet was shared by more than 5,000 users and received more than 4,000 likes. More than 130 people commented.

Some consumers have uninstalled the Foodpanda app, while others reprimanded the cabinet’s youngest member for interfering in the private sector.

Distancing himself from Syed Saddiq’s remark, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that was the minister’s personal opinion.

He added that Foodpanda’s issues are not the government’s business, and it was not discussed by cabinet members.