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Foodpanda couriers stage nationwide protest over pay cut

Foodpanda delivery persons protest against exploit from company

Foodpanda delivery persons protest against exploit from company (CNA photo)

Foodpanda delivery couriers on Thursday staged a series of coordinated protests across Taiwan against the company's recent decision to reduce their pay.

At one demonstration in front of the Taichung City Government office, a spokesman for Foodpanda couriers in the city told reporters the food delivery company had said recently that their pay would be cut from NT$70 (US$2.3) to NT$57 per delivery, while in Taipei it would be reduced to NT$60, with effect from Thursday.

Liu Yun-cheng (劉雲程) said he and the approximately 50 other couriers at the protest were angry that Foodpanda had not consulted them before making a decision that would significantly reduce their monthly incomes.

In his own case, Liu said, his earnings would drop from NT$2,100 to NT$1,300 per day for the 15 hours that he typically works.In addition, because Foodpanda does not have a limit on the number of couriers it hires, the competition is becoming stiffer, with each delivery worker receiving fewer orders, he said.

According to Liu, there are currently 9,787 Foodpanda couriers in central Taiwan alone. Similar protests were also staged in Taipei, Kaohsiung and other parts of the country. Commenting on the pay cut issue, the Taichung Labor Affairs Bureau said Foodpanda does not have the legal right to unilaterally change the terms of its contracts with its couriers.

The Taichung City government will seek to facilitate dialogue between the company and the couriers to resolve their disputes, the bureau said. Foodpanda had told CNA that the pay cut was part of an overall reform that would offer its couriers more hours and a more stable income, but it did not give any further explanation.

The company also said it would continue to engage in dialogue with its couriers to hear their views on the reforms and will make any necessary adjustments to its new policies.