Line Man drivers slam base payment cut

Line Man drivers slam base payment cut

Food delivery riders organises a protest outside the T-One Building in Klong Toey district where Line Man Wongnai is located on Friday, demanding a 40-baht delivery flat payment rate. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Food delivery riders organises a protest outside the T-One Building in Klong Toey district where Line Man Wongnai is located on Friday, demanding a 40-baht delivery flat payment rate. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Drivers for Line Man food delivery service have cried 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 riders are also subject to a 15% deduction as a management fee and withholding tax of 3%.

Upcountry, riders are now earning 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, on Friday 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.

Riders 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 on Friday staged a mass campaign to stop providing the 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 riders to shore up its operating results as it had just reduced the GP rate collected from food vendors from 30-35% to 25% and the move is also intended to please its investors.

Four online food delivery platforms have announced campaigns to reduce the GP rate to 25% following pressure from the government, which urged them to help food vendors during this difficult time.

The GP rate reduction by these operators is expected to result in a 250-350-million baht loss in revenue.

“We are gathering voices for riders in 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 of its Facebook page. It is estimated that there are at least 50,000 delivery riders countrywide, he said.

On June 2, more than 200 Line Man riders staged a protest in Chiang Mai after their delivery base payment rate was reduced from 38 baht to 30 baht. As riders are also subject to a management fee deduction, their actual earnings dropped to 24.73 baht per trip.

“If there is still no response from the platform, we will stop providing the service for one day per week, starting either next Friday or Saturday,” Mr Anukool said.

He also appealed to the government to usher in a regulation to ensure proper protection of freelance workers who work for ride-hailing and food delivery platforms or other on-demand services.

“Riders need accident insurance coverage. Some platforms only let riders who make 300-400 rides per month qualify for accident insurance coverage,” he said. “To be eligible for the insurance coverage, we need to increase the delivery rounds.”

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