A study by Lingnan University interviewed 106 food-delivery workers in Hong Kong, with 89% of respondents from ethnic minority groups. Fifty percent said that they had encountered discrimination.
Most of these people are Pakistanis or of Indian origins. They said that they had been subject to racially aggressive acts that included body language, swearing, and belittling and humiliating them.
Peter, a survey respondent, said racial discrimination had escalated during the COVID pandemic. Many people refused to stand beside him, calling him dirty and a source of viruses.
Lisa Leung Yuk-ming, a professor at the university, pointed out that food delivery e-platforms were not easy to operate for workers from minority groups.
Almost a third of respondents said that they don’t have an employment contract. Over 44% had no insurance or were unaware of any coverage.
Leung added that the current insurance payment system had also discouraged them from bargaining for better coverage.
Last November, hundreds of people working for Foodpanda organized a protest against the changes in pay.Leung urged the Labor and Welfare Bureau to increase oversight of the self-employment system. Consider regulating the food delivery industry to ensure clearer salary calculation methods and work safety by setting up contracts and traffic insurance for couriers.