More than 100 Foodpanda delivery drivers in Thailand staged a strike outside a government building on Wednesday morning in response to the company’s unannounced plan to cut its pay per order to BHT 21 (USD 0.64), a drop of at least 30% from the original rate.
The gathering follows a similar protest outside Foodpanda’s office in Chiang Mai on Monday. No company representative met with the drivers that day, so the disagreement about the adjustment in remuneration was not resolved, per a local news report. The group of striking riders said to local media that they would stage a protest again on Wednesday if they did not receive a satisfactory response from the company.
“We want more than BHT 21 per order. I do not know why they are doing this to riders in Chiang Mai only,” one Foodpanda rider told KrASIA. The riders have stated two main demands: Foodpanda should ensure that the commission adjustment process and criteria are transparent, and retain the previous pay scale as the workers go through an economic plight.
“The protesters don’t want to reach out to the company [anymore] because they never take it seriously. That’s how the protest started. The protest started today at 9:00 a.m. and we are going to lodge the complaint directly to the government, aiming for a minimum of BHT 27 per order [as compensation],” the rider added.
The Wednesday strike took place weeks after the food delivery company faced backlash from Thailand’s pro-democracy movement. In mid-July, a protester was seen in Bangkok setting fire to portraits of Thailand’s kings and then riding a motorcycle with a Foodpanda delivery crate. The company labeled the man as a “terrorist.” Foodpanda later published an apology on Twitter, saying that the firm “respects the freedom of speech and expression,” and that it would not dismiss the rider seen in the video clip.
Reportedly, over 2 million users and 90,000 merchants quit the platform in a little more than a week after the incident, although Foodpanda said that the reported numbers were “inflated.”