Taiwan: Support the struggle of delivery workers! Organizational and industrial action is the focus

China Worker 20 September 2023

Since Taiwan’s food delivery platforms cut wages in disguise at the beginning of the year, the national food delivery industry union launched industrial action on May Day. In addition to participating in the demonstration, the union also called on delivery workers in various places to refuse to take orders online, and called on stores and citizens to stop serving and ordering food in response to the action to protest against exploitation by employers and ask the Legislative Yuan to enact special legislation. After the demonstration, the government determined that the delivery workers were subject to the Labor Standards Act. But then the food delivery platform unilaterally updated its contract with the delivery workers, trying to refute the government's judgment and maintain a "fake contract, real employment" relationship. However, the government continued to condone the platform's unilateral measures. There are no penalties for the platform, which shows that this is just a false concession to ease labor protests.

Delivery driver’s demands
Delivery workers hope to receive more protections, especially open and transparent pricing methods, better occupational accident insurance and labor health insurance coverage, reasonable suspension and reporting mechanisms that multiple parties can participate in and have appeal channels, etc.

Since many part-time delivery workers want flexible employment conditions, they hope to have labor laws specifically for delivery workers. The International Socialist Path (ISA Taiwan) supports the demands made by the trade unions. The May Day industrial action was a good start. Now there is an urgent need to formulate dates and plans for the next action and mobilize workers across the country. However, the organizational strength of the trade unions has been strengthened compared with last time, including expanding the scale and strengthening the organization's tightness, so as to launch a more powerful resistance next time. The union needs to recruit more people who are willing to fight, and regularly convene meetings with delivery workers across Taiwan to democratically discuss the next step of the struggle from the bottom up. Trade unions in different places also need to gather together, with workers electing representatives and holding national conferences to coordinate local unions to launch concerted actions.

The bourgeois political parties Times Force and the People's Party have launched their respective drafts of the "Law on the Management of Food Delivery Platforms and the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Employees", hoping to formulate a "special law" to get rid of disputes over contracting and employment certification, and start from demands such as minimum unit price protection. Of course we support that food delivery workers will receive better legal protection. However, these bourgeois parties are limited to proposing minor repairs in the capitalist-controlled parliament. In addition, they face delays in legislation by the blue and green parties, making it difficult to bring about real changes for workers. Bourgeois political parties only seek to create a pro-grassroots image and will not truly promote workers’ organizations and struggles to challenge the interests of capitalists.

The Legislative Yuan is an organ controlled by capitalists, and the working class can only put pressure on officials and legislators to realize its demands through collective struggle. The leaders of the delivery workers’ union should not pin their hopes on bourgeois parties such as the Popular Party, but should focus on workers’ struggle actions. If the movement is limited to media propaganda and parliamentary legislation, I am afraid that the struggle will be delayed or even betrayed by these political parties.

From the industrial action of delivery workers, the struggle between Chunghwa Telecom and various trade unions for a new labor-unemployment system, the Chemours union's factory closure strike and the recent protests by labor dispatch unions, it is reflected that the working class still has the fighting spirit to launch protests despite suffering more severe livelihood difficulties. . During the period of resurgence of the labor movement, all workers in Taiwan need to unite and fight against the crazy inflation and exploitation by employers, and demand an immediate increase in wages, which can be increased in conjunction with prices at any time. This requires the abolition of the cross-industry political strike ban that has remained until now. . The future economic prospects are precarious, and the rich may deprive them of jobs when they make losses and ask workers to pay for them. Therefore, only by publicizing banks and major industries and handing them over to the democratic management of the working class can employment be guaranteed; and only by imposing a large tax on capital gains from the rich Only through taxes can workers who have worked hard for many years get dignified retirement security and better public services.

Bourgeois parties attack workers
In addition, the government has been continuously trying to clamp down on freedom of speech since last year, which is a wake-up call for more severe crackdowns on the right to strike in the future. No matter in people's livelihood or in the workplace, bourgeois parties such as Blue, Green, and White have never protected workers and grassroots people. Therefore, they are now promoting pro-American militarized policies while attacking the democratic rights that workers use to fight, and even dare to lie that they want to Protect people. Not only does the working class need to be prepared to resist exploitation in the workplace, but it also needs to be wary of ruling classes authoritarianizing and intensifying the exploitation of workers in situations of conflict between China and the United States. Only by uniting with the struggle of global labor can we end the capitalism that creates Sino-US imperialist conflict and exploitation!


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