KUALA LUMPUR: More than 200 freelance Foodpanda riders staged protests at two locations today against the new payment scheme announced by the online food delivery company recently.
About 100 of the company’s riders in the Klang Valley gathered at the company’s headquarters at Southgate Cheras from 11am to 2pm to vent their frustration over the payment scheme.
Besides holding placards, the riders also symbolically put down their smartphones and refused to pick up orders, to show their unhappiness over the scheme.
Pictures circulated online show a company representative meeting the riders to hear their grouses and explain the payment scheme.
Another group of some 100 riders gathered at Padang Bandaran in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, at 8am and only dispersed about six hours later.
During the protest, the riders urged Foodpanda to revert to the previous payment scheme. They did not rule out the possibility of more protests in the future with riders in other parts of the country, if the company refuses to entertain their demands.
In Negri Sembilan, Foodpanda rider Mohamad Shameer Mohd Haniffah, 30, said similar protests could be held in the state if the company ignore their calls to restore the previous payment system.
He said riders were planning to stage a protest in Seremban, and were discussing a suitable date and time.
“I am aware of it (protests staged by Foodpanda riders in other states). If there is a protest in Seremban, it will not be as meriah as the ones which have been held in other states.
“Previously, a freelance rider operating in Seremban could earn up to RM1,000 a week since our weekly earnings are based on our working hours and orders accepted.
“The new payment scheme will definitely affect our earnings, especially riders who work on a full-time basis.
“There have been days that we have to wait for three hours to receive the first order for the day,” he said.
It is understood that under the new scheme, the riders will be paid between RM7 and RM4.50 for batches of one to six. The riders claimed that they would not be paid for the actual working hours.
The New Straits Times has reached out to Foodpanda for comments.
The company announced on Saturday that it had implemented the new payment scheme for all riders outside Klang Valley. It came into effect today.
Its managing director, Sayantan Das, said the new scheme would give riders the flexibility to choose when and where they wished to work.
“For example, a rider who previously received RM5 per order will now receive RM7.
“Riders are also incentivised with a RM100 bonus upon completing 60 hours a week.
“In addition, they will also receive an extra RM1 per order for all orders between 11pm and 9am daily,” said Sayantan, adding that the company had 12,000 freelance riders across the country.
He said riders would also receive an additional bonus if they complete a minimum of 80 orders between Sept 30 and Oct 6.