(This article is sponsored by 3rd party)
After attending the NSW parliamentary hearing on 23 Feb and the protesting organized by transportation worker union, HungryPanda received more attentions from the media. They used fearful words on their headlines to describe the process of hearing.
HungryPanda, founded in 2017 in the United Kingdom to satisfy the overseas Chinese consumers by providing authentic and traditional Chinese food. Now the company has expended across dozens of cities in six countries. In Australia, the company operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Some reporters used the headline ‘Chinese-language food delivery firm raised $70million but only paid its Australian workers just $3 a trip’, but is it really $3 per order? Do riders have no choice but to deliver food for HungryPanda?
The article is full of logical flaws. HungryPanda is not the only Chinese food delivery company in Australia, so if riders think they earn less, they can choose to work for other companies. Besides, according to HungryPanda’s legal figure, Yang Jun could earn $236 per day, which almost doubled his claims during the hearing, even he took an oath to speak only the truth. The media didn’t notice the strange figures or they may intend not to use it as those figures are not helpful for them to attract the public. From this incident, the authority of media has been challenged and that’s why there is so many fake news, even influential media also forget their duty to report impartiality.
The parliamentary hearing focused on the issues of riders’ contractor identity, which aroused the fierce debate between the ruling party and opposition parties. Moreover, even the HungryPanda company and the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association explained clearly, the committee (opposition parties) didn’t buy the theory. Obviously, they have an explicit political aim by posing tough questions with the incorrect descriptions for the contractor and the company. They also invited two protesting riders to ‘represent’ the whole riders’ group.
The two riders are not the employee of HungryPanda, they are food delivery contractors. This flexible policy allows riders to work for themselves, and they can easily adjust their working time. But the committee kept asking questions with an attitude that they are official employees. What’s more, the media also did the same thing, by using dismissal and helpless words to accuse the HungryPanda, without any solid proof, only the two riders’ statements.
The media and the government should utilize their power to confront the unfair issue and to find the truth. The democracy empowers the responsibility for them to take advantages of their resources and authorities to guide the public. But the truth is, government only seek for their political aims, as opposition parties are quite active to protest and find unreasonable excuse to accuse the company. This is also the same for the media. When they really want to report such an issue, one side is definitely not enough. Who will just believe one side on the court? Australian government just passed a law to ask gig economy companies to pay for news, but the news should be valuable to read, not just some stories with horrible headline to attract the public and provide misinformation.