Foodpanda boycott called after riders accuse German delivery giant of cutting pay

2020 file photo: Government of Myanmar
2020 file photo: Government of Myanmar

Riders for German food delivery giant Foodpanda said they will go on strike Sunday to protest the company after riders in Mandalay and Yangon this week reported it cut their fees.

“I only get about 300 kyats per ride now, even though I have to take many risks on the road with shootings and bombings across the city every day,” 27-year-old rider Kyaw from Yangon’s Pabedan Township told Coconuts. “Think about it. I used to earn about 1,000 kyats, so I have not gone to work for two days now.”

He said that their fees normally amounted to MMK650 (US$0.37) and higher before, and they insist they will not work until their basic delivery fee is restored.

Coconuts has reached out to Foodpanda for comment. A company rep told Pyi Myanmar that it is constantly monitoring the fees riders receive but did not address the issue beyond saying they can earn more than minimum wage and earn more by taking on more work.

Screenshots from the riders’ orders were shared online, appearing to show delivery fees as low as MMK217 (US$.017). 

An online expat community today appealed to its members to withhold their orders for one week.

A resident of Sanchaung Township, 29-year old Si Thu, told Coconuts today that he has stopped ordering from Foodpanda due to its treatment of riders.

“I used to order from Foodpanda, but now I stopped ordering because they took the money that these riders risked their lives for on the roads, especially in such dangerous situations with soldiers everywhere,” Si Thu said.

Update: Foodpanda says ‘majority’ of riders back to work

“I’m not the only one. My family and friends are all boycotting foodpanda,” he added.

In December 2020, workers protested Foodpanda’s rising delivery costs. The company arrived in Myanmar in 2019 and is a rider-dependent business.

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