Cycling

PANDA RIDERS PLAN WEEKEND STRIKE, PANDAMART BLOCKADES – COMPANY SAYS “RAISE A TICKET” TO TALK

A rider advertises the weekend strike: “Foodpanda treats us like slaves! It’s time to show our power!” (photo: Food Panda Workers HK)

Delivery firm Food Panda has warned riders against striking this weekend, calling on couriers to “raise tickets” to discuss issues through its own app rather than taking union action.

According to one of the largest unofficial Telegram groups for Food Panda riders, a citywide strike is planned from around 5pm on Saturday to Sunday midnight.

During that time, thousands of riders are expected to refuse orders or switch their status to “resting”. Riders will also blockade PandaMarts in groups of four, persuading all arriving riders using the PandaMart to cancel ongoing orders.

The demands from strike leader Waqas and, right, the company’s response

But in a mass-message to all riders today, Food Panda said it did “not condone the potential forthcoming actions that may affect the delivery experience for our customers, vendor partners and fellow fleet members”.

Instead, the company said, riders unhappy with their job could raise tickets through the worker app, RoadRunner.

“If there is a significant number of points that the fleet would like to see addressed, we will arrange a forum within one week of collecting the tickets to discuss the most popular and pressing issues, in an environment conducive of problem-solving and open dialogue,” says the firm.

One of the strike leaders, Waqas, says raising a ticket is “useless”. “They don’t care,” he told Transit Jam.

Waqas wants a written guarantee from Food Panda, including promises on minimum order fees, less time-wasting at restaurants, and ensuring customers have given the proper address before placing the order.

Riders have reportedly been unhappy with increasing time wasted at restaurants, invalid suspensions and the contraversial “acceptance rate”-based pay which can see wages plummet for riders who reject more than three deliveries out of every 20 offered by the platform.

One rider said they felt trapped by that system, which often meant no choice but to accept long waits at restaurants. “We arrive, the restaurant says, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. If we turn down the order, we can get a pay cut, like half,” they said.

The rider said they had raised tickets on the issues three or four times through the RoadRunner app in the last year but had never had a response to the feedback.

Food Panda has been asked for comment.

Earlier this year, protests at the Food Panda headquarters led to four hours of fruitless talks, with management refusing to budge on any of the couriers’ demands.

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