The competition among food delivery platforms in Hong Kong is fierce. Uber Eats terminated the operation of the platform in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve last year, and notified the delivery staff and other arrangements. Only the labor union today (24th) and the food delivery employee representatives filed a case in the Labour Tribunal, claiming that the platform failed to make reasonable compensation for the delivery worker known as “Bao Zhong”. Some delivery workers were injured for more than half a year and did not receive a return consultation fee from the company, so they had to borrow HK$100,000 from relatives for the New Year emergency; some people were still in the hospital. The union pointed out that the batch of delivery workers worked at least 6 days a week, no less than 9 hours a day, and they were suspected of being “fake self-employment”. At least 40 people are now claiming severance pay, paid annual leave and statutory holidays from the platform. , the initial claim amount is about 5 million yuan.
Mr. Liu worked as a delivery driver for Uber Eats for about two and a half years. He accidentally injured his right thigh in a traffic accident in July last year. He has not yet recovered. The consultation fee alone has cost about HK$50,000. However, after the platform closed, there was no reply. In the past, my monthly salary was 30,000 yuan, but now my savings have been exhausted. I am the breadwinner of the family and spend at least 15,000 Hong Kong dollars a month.
In addition to Mr. Liu, there are still 4 delivery workers who were injured at work, and one of them is still in the hospital. Wang Shile, chairman of the Free Workers Branch of the Service Industry Federation of Trade Unions representing Uber Eats employees, pointed out that the union began to receive help from employees on December 4 after the platform announced its closure at the end of November. It was arranged to meet last Wednesday (19th) and conduct preliminary mediation. At that time, the management said that it accepted the opinions of the employees and would report it to the head office, but there was no news after that. The trade union then issued an “ultimatum” to the management, requesting the management to respond yesterday (23rd), but the other party repeatedly delayed and failed to reply. Therefore, the trade union decided to start today and assist the workers in filing the case with the Labour Tribunal in batches for 4 consecutive days.
Wang Shile said that the case involved about 40 motorcycle delivery workers, with their seniority ranging from 2 to 5 years. She quoted the employees as saying that when they joined the company, they were assigned fixed working hours and working areas, working 6 to 7 days a week. Work 9 to 12 hours a day, apply for leave in advance to the platform, and apply for sick leave at least 1 hour in advance. In addition to the penalty mechanism, the delivery staff are restricted by the order acceptance rate and completion rate, etc. It is believed that the employers have the vast majority of delivery staff. The right of control should belong to the employment relationship, and the platform should not evade its responsibilities as an employer. She also pointed out that some employees who asked for help said that the news of the platform’s closure came suddenly, but other delivery platforms have gradually become saturated, and it is difficult to find a job again. Some employees are even injured and unemployed, feeling hesitant.
The Labour Department replied that it would not comment on individual cases. The prescription will provide mediation services for persons involved in false self-employment disputes. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will be referred to the Labour Tribunal for adjudication at the request of the claimant. Uber responded that it was aware of the matter being dealt with by the Labour Tribunal and could not comment further.