Another struggle after one year: Lalamove's exploitation goes on
In late April 2018, an industrial action broke out in Lalamove China, a Hong Kong-invested logistics enterprise's branch in China. It was caused by the enterprise, which reduced the drivers' commission arbitrarily. Suffered from a sudden income loss, together with the ongoing rising petrol, toll fees and operating costs, drivers could not make their ends meet and launched a strike to address their problems. Hundreds of drivers in five different cities joined this action and this strike was covered by international media. Another strike, due to the same cause marks the first anniversary of Lalamove drivers' strike.
On 3 July 2019, a large number of drivers protested at Lalamove's branch in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, after the enterprise reduced their commission. Similar protests took place in Xian, Kunming, Wuhan and etc., in the following days.
On 18 July, almost 300 drivers in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province protested in Yinzhou District's Lalamove enterprise and blocked some roads. Some witnesses described a conflict broke out between drivers and police. Two drivers were reportedly detained. Until now, their conditions remain unclear.
At the same time, 300 to 400 drivers protested in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, as Lalamove cut their commission. The police came and prohibited drivers from entering the enterprise. As a response, drivers headed to Shenzhen City, to protest at Lalamove's branch there. Their action was widely supported by the drivers in the surrounding cities.
At 9 am on 19 July, hundreds of Lalamove drivers in Shenzhen City came to protest at the headquarters at Meihua Road in Futian District of Shenzhen City. The entrances and exits of the headquarters, the neighboring roads were blocked and drivers from Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhanjiang, Jiangmen, Huizhou and other cities travelled to Shenzhen to join them. A driver reported that 3,000 drivers joined the protest and 500 police officers came. In the morning, 3 drivers were detained and later another 7 or 8 drivers were taken away. Until now, their whereabouts are unknown. In the same evening, police ordered a clearance and forced the drivers to end their protest. Five drivers' representatives were allowed to negotiate with the employer at the headquarters. Their eight demands, including to resume the commission standard of 2018, to make sure senior drivers would not have lower chance to get orders, to revise the navigation system and etc., were all not met. The employer promised to give a feedback by 23 July but at the time of writing (26 July), the drivers have not heard any news.
Lalamove's cut on drivers' commission, is clearly induced by the economic downturn in China. As inflation rate keeps rocketing, drivers with insecure employment are very vulnerable to income cut. In recent years, “Internet+” sectors become the new battlefield of race to the bottom. Hereby, we urge Lalamove to stop its race to the bottom game, to protect its employees' livelihood and respect workers' dignity.