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After J&T Express video, Bukit Gasing ADUN calls for tribunal to protect gig workers

Delivery company J&T Express is at the centre of controversy right now, after a video showing staff at the Perak sorting centre throwing around packages went viral in the past few days. The issue at hand appears to be a pay dispute, with an alleged reduction in commission rates for part-time riders supposedly the cause of concern. According to users on Twitter, the commission for part-time riders for the delivery firm has allegedly been reduced to RM0.60 per item—from a previous rate of RM1.50 per item.

However, the company has since issued a statement clarifying that the viral video was down to a misunderstanding over bonus payments, rather than regular wages or commission rates for its drivers:

“Unfortunately, certain employees are not clear about the bonus payment scheme which led to violent sorting of packages on February 4, inciting some employees to make collective disturbances and posting the videos to social media.”

Is it time for an eHailing & pHailing tribunal?

Bukit Gasing ADUN YB Rajiv Rishyakaran has issued a statement calling for the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Human Resources to set up a tribunal to help protect drivers and riders in the gig economy. The state rep also referred to the alleged 60 percent cut in commission rates by J&T as a “cruel act”, saying that more protection for riders and drivers in the industry is needed.

“Existing mechanism for arbitration is not easily accessible to the public and riders and the currently lengthy and expensive process of court will discourage due course of action. There should be an independent body which can adjudicate disputes between individual drivers/riders and the respective companies.

“The riders/drivers are at the mercy of these companies. And due to the pandemic, many are now forced to do this work full time and depend on these companies for their source of income. Their hard work has enabled the respective companies to gain popularity, and once the company is established, the riders are at their mercy.”

Rishyakaran also said that the tribunal would help solve disputes, and offer an avenue for around 400,000 workers in the pHailing economy to “channel their frustrations”. This will, in his opinion, help to ensure a more “peaceful protest” when disputes arise, with the gap between financial positions of riders and employers noted to be vast.

“Existing mechanism for arbitration is not easily accessible to the public and riders and the currently lengthy and expensive process of court will discourage due course of action. There should be an independent body which can adjudicate disputes between individual drivers/riders and the respective companies.”

As for J&T Express, the company has confirmed that employees at the Perak branch have resumed work as usual, while assuring that parcels will continue to be processed and delivers. As for parcels that have been damaged, the management assured that compensation will be paid out to affected customers.

https://twitter.com/badchibimama/status/1357604682680520705

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