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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Food delivery blackout: Riders plan nationwide strike starting this midnight


Food delivery services in the country might see some disruption tomorrow as riders who work for several companies are planning to go on a 24-hour nationwide strike beginning this midnight.

A spokesperson for one of the protesting groups said the strike, dubbed 'Food Delivery Blackout', stemmed from what they regarded as an unfair payment scale used by the companies.

Only wanting to be identified as Ikmal, he told Malaysiakini that the main strike requires participating riders to switch off their delivery application for an entire day.

"The strike would mainly see riders switching off our delivery application for the whole day.

"Some of us refer to this as cuti sehari (one day off) strike," he said.

While the number of riders to join the plan remains unclear, Ikmal said the organisers believe that "many" have indicated that they will back the movement.

It was learned that the main protest group had also planned for a convoy to the headquarters of one of the companies in Petaling Jaya.

A notice calling for the protest sighted by Malaysiakini urged riders under the company to gather at 10 rally points in the Klang Valley at 4pm before they start riding together to Petaling Jaya to submit a memorandum to the company.

According to Ikmal, riders were not satisfied as the delivery companies allegedly have been decreasing their payment from time to time.

"This started last year when the companies started cutting down the amount of payment for riders.

"I will give you an example. Before this, if a rider under this one company takes a double order - meaning he delivers food from one vendor to two customers - the rider would get full payment for both orders. Meaning, that if the distance for each order gets them RM5, then he will get RM10 in total.

"But now, the company has cut the amount to only RM7 or RM8," he said.

The company had also allegedly abolished a reward system for peak hours delivery and replaced it with a new system which pays them much less.

"And what makes riders more upset now, the amount has also been reduced from time to time."

Ikmal claimed that riders had aired their grouses and complained to the companies before but allegedly were not entertained.

Malaysiakini has contacted GrabFood and Food Panda for comments.

Meanwhile, a delivery rider who requested not to be named told Malaysiakini that he will be participating in the strike tomorrow.

He believed that this round of protest might see a huge turnout.

"This is not the first time riders are holding a rally like this.

"However, it seems that this time many riders are already fed up with the ridiculous pay scale," he said.

The man in his early 20s believed that it could have been caused by delivery companies taking in many new riders. - Mkini

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