Drivers for Line Man food delivery service are crying foul over the operator’s move to drop the delivery base payment rate upcountry, saying the approach stems from its recent reduction of the gross profit (GP) or commission fees collected from food vendors.
The reduction of the delivery base payment varies according to the province. These drivers are also subject to a 15% deduction as a management fee and withholding tax of 3%.
Upcountry, drivers now earn 16-25 baht per trip after these deductions and the base payment reduction.
In Bangkok and surrounding provinces, Line Man Wongnai, the operator of Line Man, cut the delivery service payment for drivers from a base payment of 62 baht to 50 baht since March.
Freedom Rider Union, a community of food delivery drivers with its own Facebook page, yesterday organised a protest outside the T-One Building in Klong Toey district where Line Man Wongnai is located. They also went to the Labour Ministry to voice their concerns.
Drivers from various provinces such as Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Chon Buri, Chachoengsao and Sing Buri also joined the gathering. Riders in some provinces such as Nakhon Si Thammarat and Nakhon Ratchasima yesterday staged a mass campaign to stop providing service.
The drivers threatened to stop working for one day a week if the platform ignores their plight.
They said the platform decided to reduce the base payment rate for drivers to shore up its operating results after it just reduced the commission rate collected from food vendors to 25%, down from 30-35%. The drivers also said the move is intended to please Line Man Wongnai’s investors.
Four online food delivery platforms announced campaigns to reduce the GP rate to 25% following pressure from the government, which urged them to help food vendors during this crisis. The rate reduction is expected to result in a loss in revenue of 250-350 million baht for the operators.
“We are gathering voices for drivers upcountry, demanding a flat rate of 40 baht over 40 provinces across the country,” Anukool Rachaguna, a representative of the Freedom Rider Union, told the Bangkok Post.
The union has around 15,000 followers on its Facebook page. It is estimated there are at least 50,000 delivery riders countrywide, he said.
On June 2, more than 200 Line Man drivers staged a protest in Chiang Mai after their delivery base payment rate was reduced from 38 baht to 30 baht. When the management fee is also deducted, their actual earnings dropped to 24.73 baht per trip.
“If there is no response from the platform, we will stop providing service for one day per week, starting either next Friday or Saturday,” Mr Anukool said.
He also appealed to the government to pass a regulation to ensure proper protection of freelance labourers working for ride-hailing and food delivery platforms, or other on-demand services.
“Drivers need accident insurance coverage. Some platforms only allow drivers who make 300-400 trips per month to qualify for accident insurance coverage,” said Mr Anukool. “To be eligible for the insurance coverage, we need to increase the delivery rounds.”