MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Friday, August 5, 2022

‘Food Delivery Blackout’ protesters hand memorandum to Grab HQ


Approximately 100 food delivery riders have submitted a memorandum to the Grab headquarters in Petaling Jaya following issues of low delivery fares that they say are forcing them to work longer hours to earn the same amount.

This comes amid a 24-hour nationwide strike, dubbed “Food Delivery Blackout”, which started at midnight today to protest what the riders regarded as an unfair payment scale used by food delivery companies.

Riders under several companies, one of which being Grab Malaysia, gathered at 10 rally points in the Klang Valley at 4pm, where they then rode together to Petaling Jaya to submit the memorandum to the company.

In the memorandum sighted by Malaysiakini, the riders urged Grab to evaluate fare payment rates according to the pick-up and delivery distance.

A delivery rider, who only wanted to be identified as Riz, echoed this sentiment, saying that recent delivery fares for longer journeys have been equal to fares for shorter trips. 

He said the delivery riders have always been paid a flat rate per delivery, which the rider said is fair if the delivery time to the destination is below five minutes.

However, Riz claimed Grab has been paying riders the same amount for destinations much further away.

“We would be okay if we are paid the RM5 delivery for short-distance delivery.

“But it is not fair if we are paid the same amount for long-distance deliveries that take up to 20 minutes. 

“Sometimes, this includes the time we spend waiting for the food from the restaurants and the times we ride in the rain,” he told Malaysiakini.

Riz reiterated that this led the group to start a memorandum in hopes that the companies would hear their pleas.

Other concerns raised by riders

In the memorandum, the riders also wanted Grab to eliminate their cash system, stating that most services have now gone cashless and Grab should follow suit as this is the most convenient payment method for passengers and riders.

Aside from that, the riders hope Grab will allow riders to cancel orders without affecting their profile reviews as well as cancellation percentages as this can cause a huge loss for them in terms of the points they receive.

Along with the concerns stated in the memorandum, Riz also said there are currently more riders than there are delivery orders.

“This unbalance has caused significant competition among riders and has also resulted in decreased income.

“We are all fighting to get deliveries as they are not enough for all of us,” he said.

Aside from concerns over low fares, the delivery riders also highlighted safety issues.

A delivery rider, who only wanted to be named Bill, said riders would only need to work for 10 hours to reach their daily income target previously, but now they have to work for 12 to 15 hours to achieve the same target.

“I am worried that these longer hours would lead to a rise in accidents caused by riders who don’t have any choice but to work even while exhausted. 

“I remember almost dozing off during one of my rides as I was so tired of riding all day,” he said, expressing that he had no choice but to work even at the peak of his exhaustion as he did not want to go home without reaching his target.

“It is horrible what us riders have to go through because of lower fares.

“Are we supposed to be on the road for 24 hours and not be able to spend time with our family?

“Are we supposed to risk our lives on the road so that we can put food on the table?” he questioned.

Bill also notes that riders do not have a proper system in place for Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions.

“The fact is that we are not considered full-time workers. 

“So, we do not enjoy the same benefits as typical full-time employment,” he said.

Grab’s response

Following the announcement of the strike yesterday, Grab said in a statement to Malaysiakini that the income reduction faced by “a small group” of delivery partners last month was due to a technical glitch which has been rectified.

“Grab Malaysia would like to clarify that we did not reduce base fares for our delivery services.

“The recent concern raised by a delivery partner was a glitch in our system, where he noted a discrepancy in his earnings.

“We have since rectified the issue and have transferred the shortfall to all affected partners and clarified the matter via our official communication channel to our partners on July 21,” said Grab Malaysia.

The company also reassured all consumers and merchant-partners that it remains committed to supporting its delivery-partner community.

Following Grab’s statement, Bill said that this discrepancy has happened more than once, stating that Grab’s reasoning for a glitch in their system is unacceptable.

“We have spoken to the relevant authorities about this many times, but it always falls on deaf ears.

“So why is it that only now, after we announced the protest, is when they decide to respond and say it’s a glitch that caused the issue?” he questioned.

The riders hope that the 24-hour protest and the memorandum will inform the relevant companies of how riders are feeling about earning less despite performing more deliveries.

“We hope the companies will finally step up and make changes that will benefit the riders,” said Riz. - Mkini

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