Connect with us

Business

Bangkok food delivery riders demand legal protections

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Bangkok food delivery riders demand legal protections | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kapook
  • follow us in feedly

If you’ve got a smartphone, a motorbike and a bit of cash, you can get work straightaway in Bangkok… but it comes at a cost. Though the income is potentially high, online food delivery drivers face heavy workloads, long hours, customer complaints and high levels of risk.

GrabFood riders held a protest in Bangkok last week, saying that they get too small a cut from the company. Some claimed to be paid as little as 30 baht per delivery.

Even if some services pay more, the protesters say their take-home pay ultimately isn’t much, as they must spend their own money on food and drinks as they wait, often for hours, for an order to come through, and companies don’t cover insurance or vehicle maintenance.

The key players in the sector at the moment are Line, GrabTaxi, Foodpanda and Gojek. All of these companies make a profit by paying a fee to drivers, who serve as a missing link between customers who can’t (or won’t) leave their homes and local restaurants and food stalls.

Riders and customers are matched with smartphone applications with which consumers can place orders at their chosen eateries. The apps notify customers when a rider agrees to collect the food for delivery to their address. Customers can use the apps to track the progress of their orders.

But while the apps are convenient for customers, the convenience comes at a cost for riders, who often have to deal with “unkind” conditions.

One rider who asked not to be named said delivery service providers apply a points-based appraisal system which gives extra points to drivers who promptly accept and deliver orders. These points supposedly reflect a driver’s performance. Customers are sometimes charged a delivery fee, which differs from one app to another, or pay higher prices compared to walk-in customers.

The rider said his take-home pay depends on what kind of orders he gets. Some days, he waits hours for a single order at a busy restaurant.

“I could have delivered two or three orders from other restaurants in that time.”

Problems usually begin during “peak hours,” the lunch rush 10am to 2pm on weekdays, when delivery apps are flooded with orders from office workers. And a rider who declines orders can be barred from logging onto the app.

“Because of the demerit system, no one would dare to reject an order even if it’s inconvenient. It’s extremely exhausting, but sometimes we don’t have a choice.”

The rider says he’s 16-18 hours a day since New Year’s Day, bringing home an average of 16,000 baht a week, but while his previous job didn’t pay as well, at least he could spend the weekend with his children.

Customer dissatisfaction can also hit riders’ wallets. If a customer feels they’ve waited too long or simply changes their mind, they can easily cancel their order on the app.

“In these cases, we sometimes have to pick up the tabs ourselves. Riders have to pay for the food orders with their own money and have it ‘reimbursed’ by the customers.” Another rider agreed and added another common complaint:

“We often get scolded by angry customers.”

Female riders face added risks. One complained on Facebook, saying she rode 17 kilometres to deliver an order at 1am, only to have the delivery address changed to a location that required her to go even further, down a deserted, dusty road. When she arrived, no customer came out to receive the order.

“Aye” became a food delivery rider because of the potential for high pay it promised. At first, he earned 100 baht per delivery, but nowadays days he gets about 40 baht for deliveries within a 5 kilometre radius, or about 1,200 baht a day – just enough to support his wife and seven year old daughter. He says there are about 100,000 people working as food delivery riders in Bangkok.

“Anyone with a smartphone, a motorcycle and a bit of cash can get work straight away. But the companies don’t cover vehicle maintenance, and they don’t provide insurance in case of accidents.”

Aye called on the government to require companies to provide some benefits for riders, including insurance coverage at the very least.

One law researcher at Chiang Mai University says companies behind food delivery apps control a huge amount of data about consumer behaviour, which can be sold to business analysts.

“Riders play a crucial part in collecting this data and they deserve to receive a share of the income from any sale of the information.”

Yet while riders’ work exposes them to constant danger from road accidents they aren’t eligible for compensation from the companies or the state because they are not technically company employees.

Kriangsak Teerakowitkajorn, a researcher with the Just Economy and Labour Institute, agreed.

“These food delivery workers have no negotiating power at all when it comes to labour rights.”

App-based food delivery services operated by so-called platform economy companies have fast gained popularity over the past two years. The industry’s value is expected grow to between 33 and 35 billion baht this year, and to continue at around 10% per year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Air Pollution

Bangkok’s air quality is ‘unhealthy’ today | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Bangkok’s air quality is ‘unhealthy’ today | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Air quality around Bangkok this morning is awful. Partly due to the lack of wind to blow the smog out of the area. To the south of Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon, the air quality is even worse with visibility on the ground cut to less than a kilometre. You would be well advised to reduce you activities outside on a day of high air pollution in the capital. The rating by airvisual.com is ‘unhealthy’.

Bangkok's air quality is 'unhealthy' today | VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Readings around the inner city vary between 190 – 220. Areas to the east, including around Suvarnabhumi Airport, are higher.

A lot of the smog and smoke is flowing down from the north and north east where plantation fires rage, mostly unenforced, this time of the year, from December to May. Farmers have been told, repeatedly, to avoid buying off the waste after harvests of corn, rice and sugar cane but officials have been disinclined to enforce the laws. Many of the farmers have long-term contracts with some of Thailand’s leading agri-business conglomerates.

Bangkok and the central region can expect many more months, especially as the temperatures rise throughout February, March and April and the winds remain low as the north-easterly monsoon weakens.

Bangkok's air quality is 'unhealthy' today | VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: View across the Bangkok skyline from Sathorn this morning.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi

Avatar

Published

on

40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Last night, police raided a house in Nonthaburi and arrested 40 people for allegedly gambling.

According to the deputy chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, 33 are Thais and 7 are migrant workers of the casino. The officials also confiscated decks of cards of the Dragon-Tiger game, plastic chips and some cash as evidence.

During the raid, the migrant workers allegedly revealed that the gambling operations at the home had only been going on for 2 days and that the owner planned to move it to other locations.

Police have been cracking down on gambling after the Covid-19 outbreak at a Rayong gambling den in line with the PM’s order made last week to shut down the illegal venues and tracking down “influential figures.”

SOURCE: National Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling

Avatar

Published

on

Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Tabloid

With Covid-19 cases linked to some illegal gambling dens, causing a headache for health officials trying to track down elusive gamblers to contain the virus, the former Finance Minister floated the idea to legalise gambling.

The former Finance Minister and current leader of the Kla Party, Korn Chaitkavanich, claims legalising gambling will help contain the spread of Covid-19. He also hinted that it will gain more tax revenue. If it’s legalised, gamblers will spend their money in legal casinos that pay taxes, drawing in more money the government can use for public improvements, he says.

The Royal Thai Police spokesperson insists police are pursuing legal action against owners of the illegal gambling dens. Interior Minister Anuphong Paojinda has also told provincial governors to suppress illegal gambling dens and take responsibility if more gambling dens are found.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24

Thailand News Today | Covid outbreak update, migrant workers ‘dumped’, Phuket’s fake cases | Dec 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid outbreak update, migrant workers ‘dumped’, Phuket’s fake cases | Dec 23

Thailand News Today | 427 new C19 infections, Pattaya countdown cancelled, Elite Visa update | Dec 22 | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 427 new C19 infections, Pattaya countdown cancelled, Elite Visa update | Dec 22

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending