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Rise of food delivery apps in Thailand exposes rights disparity

Maya Taylor

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Rise of food delivery apps in Thailand exposes rights disparity | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Samui Times
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The owners of the highly popular food-delivery apps are facing growing calls to improve welfare rights for their workers, as more people opt to take on a full or part-time job as a “rider”. Speaking at the online seminar, “When Riders Strike Back”, Akkanut Wantanasombut from Chulalongkorn University says employment law needs to be expanded to cover new roles such as those carrying out deliveries for app-based platforms.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, there are more than 100,000 such workers nationwide, with approximately 70,000 in Bangkok alone. Akkanut says many delivery platforms categorise these workers as “partners”, which allows them to avoid paying social security for their staff. Workers also say they’re earning less, due to an increase in the number of riders in the business.

Apantee Charoensak left her office role to become a full-time driver and says riders must pay for their own fuel, vehicle maintenance, and insurance. She says while there is a social security fund to cover hospital bills in the event of an accident, all contributions to the fund are from staff, with none from the employer.

“We don’t really know who our bosses are. There’s no one to take responsibility for our employment.”

Another rider, ‘Boy’, says he thought not being regarded as a company employee would be an advantage, in that he would not be constrained by workplace rules. However, he finds himself still obliged to wear the company jacket and attach a cumbersome delivery box to the back of his bike. The unwieldy box often makes it difficult to maneouvre in heavy traffic, posing a risk to safety.

Meanwhile, economist Thanee Chaiwat, also from Chulalongkorn University, says freelancers and similar workers need to be brought into the welfare net, as they do not have a guaranteed income each month and are at high risk of unemployment.

A further challenge is posed by casual workers who don company jackets and carry out deliveries outside of their main office job. Such workers cannot access the social security fund in the event of an accident as the fund is only available to full-time workers. However, it’s understood riders have rejected a proposal that they be paid the minimum wage of just over 300 baht a day, in return for being classed as company employees.

Business has been booming for the delivery apps and services.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 7, 2020 at 11:25 am

    If they gave them rights as employees they would be paid more, and cost more because they would receive benefits.
    The delivery costs would go up, and less people would use them.
    In addition, there would be self employed delivery drivers take to the roads and the employed drivers will lose work.
    If I sent a motor bike to pick up food, why should I pay them sickness benefit, insurance, minimum wages, pensions!?
    Many of them can work as taxis, and delivery drivers, and at night dance in the gay bars.
    Never satisfied these Thais.

    lol

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      September 7, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      “If I sent a motor bike to pick up food, why should I pay them sickness benefit, insurance, minimum wages, pensions!?”

      Well, human rights? Did or do you enjoy those rights? Civilisation comes at a price; but so does barbarism.

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Bangkok

First airplane food cafe, now Thai Airways opens fried dough stand

Caitlin Ashworth

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First airplane food cafe, now Thai Airways opens fried dough stand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

Since not much is happening in the air, Thai Airways is running new business schemes on the ground. For their newest venture, the company opened a deep fried dough street food stand. They say the fried dough with taro custard is an “award winning” recipe.

Thai Airways has already opened a pop-up restaurant serving “in flight” food to customers seated in repurposed airplane seats. They also started offering package deals for a lessons on their flight stimulator, touting that it’s the most realistic stimulator in Thailand and is usually used to train pilots.

For their new fried dough stand outside of the company’s Bangkok headquarters, the new business venture has already “taken off.” Nation Thailand says a long line of people waiting for the 50 baht fried dough early Wednesday morning.

The stand is up from 6:30am to 9:30am in front of their headquarters on Silom Road.

Hopefully they’ll make a profit out of the fried dough with taro custard as they currently owe around 245 billion baht (give or take a few billion), according to Reuters. So 245 billion baht, divided by 50 baht, minus the costs of the taro and dough… they will have to sell a LOT.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Business

Foodpanda joins online grocery delivery movement

The Thaiger

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Foodpanda joins online grocery delivery movement | The Thaiger

Get your latest dinner or snack, or now a delivery from your supermarket. Foodpanda is the latest player to join the online grocery delivery movement as it is now operating under Pandamart. The German-based delivery app is the latest establishment to shift its focus on capitalising from “quick commerce” which sees items being delivered faster than traditional grocery stores.

However, the game is on as Pandamart enters at a time when Grabmart and HappyFresh already have penetrated the rapid delivery market by their respective Grab and Line Man apps. Thomas Buchan, the director of new verticals at Foodpanda Thailand, says customers expect deliveries faster in this new era.

“We are entering the era of quick commerce [q-commerce] where digital customers expect faster delivery within minutes or hours, unlike the 4.0 e-commerce era when users wait for same-day or next-day delivery.”

Pandamart delivers products within 20 minutes as orders are mapped to its nearest product storage facility within 10 km for faster delivery times. Such merchants partnering with the company include Gourmet Market, Lawson 108, Tesco, Beauty Buffet and the retail giant CP Freshmart.

To entice users, it also offers free delivery for orders of 50 baht or more with snacks, alcohol and beverages bringing in the most sales. Currently, Pandamart operates in 12 Asia-Pacific countries and Buchan says that number is expected to grow as shopping habits change.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Bangkok expo planned to fill 1 million job vacancies

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok expo planned to fill 1 million job vacancies | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Visa

Thailand has a lot of job opportunities. About a million. The Labour Ministry is hosting an expo to connect job seekers, especially recent university graduates, with companies. For recent graduates, a new government initiative co-payment system will take care of half the salary.

Job Expo Thailand 2020 will run from September 26 to 28 at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre, or Bitec. Government agencies are expected to post around 400,000 job positions, according to the Labour Minister Suchat Chomklin. About 100,000 jobs are expected to be posed from companies overseas. There will be around 200,000 job positions for university graduates. Another 200,000 jobs are expected to be posted from companies from various sectors.

“The economy is reviving after the lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown. Companies have reopened and begun to hire their workforce again… This organised state job expo is expected to boost confidence in the economy and accelerate the hiring process.”

The labour minister says he hopes the mass hiring will help revive the economy after the pandemic.

“It is not practical now to seek a job in a normal way… So we’ve decided to pull in all companies that seek to place job postings in one place.”

The Bangkok Post did not report on how many, if any, companies would be open to hiring foreigners. But there are options for native-English speakers for teaching positions. Thailand’s Education Minister has announced plans to recruit up to 10,000 native English-speaking teachers. Even though the the plan hasn’t been put in place yet, many schools have positions available since a number of foreign English teachers went back to their home countries during the pandemic.

For recent university graduates, the government has started a co-payment system to cover 50% of the salaries for new graduates for 12 months. Sachat says the system is expected to bring in 190 billion baht. The government plans subsidise 15,000 baht per month for 1 million new graduates, estimated to spend 180 billion baht over the next year on the subsidy.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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