Scores of Foodpanda delivery workers in Hong Kong have ended their strike after reaching an agreement with the company on improving wages and working conditions after a total of 14 hours of negotiations.

The workers of the online food delivery app staged the strike last Saturday, and entered into two rounds of negotiations with corporate representatives on Tuesday and Thursday.

Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The workers were upset with long waiting times at restaurants to collect orders, an inability to reject orders, cuts to delivery fees and the way the company calculated delivery distance.

The two sides failed to reach agreement on Tuesday, and the second round was held after the Hong Kong office consulted the parent company in Germany.

Boxson Cheng, a worker representative, said on Thursday after agreement was announced that “while the solution was imperfect, it is acceptable,” and the agreement had improved many of the problems which “had stirred rancour for a long time.”

One example was the distance calculation. Cheng said Foodpanda would seek to change the calculation from one similar to linear distance to the actual distance of the delivery route.

The representative said the company told workers they would need three months to make changes to the system, and during this time, if the actual distance of the delivery route was more than one kilometre over the calculation under the old system, drivers would get an extra HK$5 per order.

Another labour representative, Waqas Fida, said that “we have done our best to get what we want.”

(From left) Waqas Fida and Pedro Dias shaking hands after reaching an agreement following a meeting on November 18, 2021. Photo: Stand News.

“We want to rebuild this company because it’s our company. We are earning from here, we are feeding our kids from here, so we have to rebuild this company,” said Fida.

Ho Hung-hing, spokesperson for the Catering and Hotel Industries Employees General Union, said agreement was reached thanks to the unity among delivery workers.

“I hope that even though this time Foodpanda gave us a more satisfying response, we will continue monitoring and fighting for our rights and not let our unified power subside,” said Ho.

‘Initial miscommunication’

Foodpanda’s operations director Pedro Dias said after the meeting that the issues “stemmed from an initial miscommunication.”

“This is something that I will be putting a lot of effort into solving in the near future…” said Dias. “I’m sure we will all learn from this experience, and I’ll be setting up a framework to have a constructive, continuous dialogue with the fleet.”

He said the deal represented a “great improvements to both the income and also the [work] experience of the fleet.” Details would be given to delivery drivers and the media later.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.