Food delivery service provider Uber Eats Taiwan yesterday said that it would not change its business model in the short term, even though the Ministry of Labor on Monday said that food deliverers’ are employees rather than contractors.
The company said that it still considers delivery drivers to be contractors, because they can freely and flexibly decide when to work via its service platform.
“We hope that the government will discuss with all relevant stakeholders, including platform operators, and create regulations that protect the interests of delivery workers, but also allow this innovative service to prosper,” Uber Eats said in a statement.
The Labor Standards Act (勞基法) stipulates that food couriers are subject to the maximum daily working hours, must have one fixed day off per week and are entitled to double pay on national holidays.
They must also take a 30-minute break after riding for four consecutive hours, the act says.
Uber Eats said that the labor regulations barely fit its business model, as drivers are allowed to set their own work hours and have the right to refuse orders.
Delivery personnel are also not required to wear uniforms or check their attendance online, a corporate communications officer said by telephone.
Uber Eats said that it would maintain its delivery service and relationship with its drivers until further discussions with the ministry, but added that it remains committed to making food deliveries a safe experience for couriers and would continue to raise road safety awareness with its “delivery partners.”
Foodpanda Taiwan Co (富胖達) also said that it does not plan to make existing contractors employees, regardless of the ministry’s announcement.
The company said in a statement that it regrets the ministry’s decision and said that its drivers are independent contractors who use its platform’s resources and get paid per delivery by utilizing their time in a flexible and effective way.
Foodpanda would not make any changes to its business model at the moment and has no plan to pay labor insurance for its food couriers, the statement said.
However, the company said that it provides third-party insurance packages for all of its riders with better terms than labor insurance offers.
The company’s practices are fully compliant with Taiwan’s laws based on a study it conducted prior to entering the market in 2012, the statement said.
Foodpanda has since hired about 100,000 contract riders, it added.
UNCONVINCING: The US Congress questioned whether the company’s Chinese owners pose a national security risk and how the app might influence young users TikTok chief executive officer Shou Chew (周受資), confronted with an unforgiving, distrustful US Congress, tried to give answers in his testimony on Thursday that avoided offending either the US government or China. However, his evasiveness left Congress unsatisfied, with representatives hungrier than ever to punish TikTok for ties to its parent company ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), based in Beijing. He did not bring his company any closer to a resolution. Politically, TikTok is in a tougher spot. Its executives had been discussing divesting from ByteDance to resolve US national security concerns, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. However, China this week said
The Investment Commission yesterday approved a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) application to invest an additional US$3.5 billion in its Arizona subsidiary to manufactured advanced chips. The world’s largest contract chipmaker’s board of directors last month approved the funding project after TSMC started moving manufacturing equipment into the fab in December last year in preparation for the production of 4-nanometer chips next year. TSMC said it has also commenced the second phase of facility construction in Arizona. The second fab is to produce semiconductors using 3-nanometer technology in 2026. Altogether, TSMC plans to spend US$40 billion on the Arizona fabs, doubling its
KEY SECTOR: Taiwan’s new chip legislation is insufficient, and a more strategic ‘chip act’ that covers the whole semiconductor ecosystem is needed, MediaTek’s chairman said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chairman Rick Tsai (蔡明介) yesterday urged the government to formulate a state semiconductor strategy and comprehensive “chip act” that includes local chip designers and smaller-scale semiconductor companies, as they are facing intensifying competition from China. The government is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding the local semiconductor industry’s competitiveness, given that the US, the EU and Japan are offering hefty subsidies and significant tax incentives to build semiconductor capacity domestically, as they have realized the strategic importance of semiconductors, Tsai said. To implement such a program, the government should take steps to finance a “chip act,” Tsai said
Microsoft Corp has threatened to cut off access to its Internet search data, which it licenses to rival search engines, if they do not stop using it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence (AI) chat products, people familiar with the dispute have said. The software maker licenses the data in its Bing search index — a map of the Internet that can be quickly scanned in real time — to other companies that offer Web search, such as Apollo Global Management Inc’s Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. Last month, Microsoft integrated a cousin of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s AI-powered chat technology, into Bing. Rivals