Delivery driver union refutes 100-million-won wage claims
A delivery worker labor union on Thursday denied recent reports that some drivers receive 100 million won ($84,000) in annual pay.
Rider Union held an online press event to argue that recent reports claiming that delivery drivers are highly paid are untrue, adding that their working environment still needs to be improved as it remains a dangerous job.
The 100-million-won claims surfaced after Coupang Eats, a food delivery platform, revealed that one of its riders earned 585,700 won in a single day after delivering 64 orders, according to Rider Union.
If that was taken as a daily wage — which, Rider Union says, it was never intended to — that person would earn more than 100 million won a year. But that sort of pace isn't actually possible.
“Coupang calculated the daily pay of delivery workers that worked on the weekend on a rainy day, when they receive higher pay” said Park Jung-hoon, a chairperson at Rider Union. “Delivery workers’ payments aren’t stable, and it’s inaccurate to calculate one’s annual salary based on one day.”
Park also blamed major companies, like Coupang and Baedal Minjok, or Baemin, for the current lack of supply of delivery workers.
“Commission fees per delivery have risen because Coupang Eats and Baemin are promoting events to lure in more delivery workers. That promotion is only possible for those with major delivery platforms," Park said, adding that such a promotion is taking away delivery riders from smaller companies like Vroong and Barogo.
In July and August, Baemin gave 1 million won to new riders, while Yogiyo Express, an artificial intelligence-based delivery dispatching system by Baemin’s rival Yogiyo, is offering 2 million won to certain riders who complete challenges set by the company.
A Yogiyo Express recruitment page posted on job portal site Albamon on Thursday says riders' monthly salary is 5 million won.
Citing a lack of delivery workers due to skyrocketing orders, Logiall, which handles more than 10 million orders per month, recently told restaurant owners that commission fees will increase by 500 won. The increase goes to delivery riders.
Franchise restaurants’ use of delivery services is also intensifying the competition.
“Since a delivery rider who delivers food ordered from a franchise restaurant can pick up several deliveries at once, they choose to go to franchise restaurants,” said the operator of a chicken restaurant in Songpa District, southern Seoul, during the press event. “That causes deliveries from smaller non-franchise restaurants to get delayed, ultimately causing customers to complain about cold food.”
“Amid the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, delivery services are essential for the [economy] of Seoul, which is home to 10 million people,” said Gu Gyo-hyeon, a spokesperson for Rider Union. “There is a need to fundamentally change the working environment of delivery riders.”
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]