Finance Work Hungry Panda drivers fight dismissal, handed down hours after protest over pay
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Hungry Panda drivers fight dismissal, handed down hours after protest over pay

Former rider Xiangqian Li said he was sacked by the delivery giant without a warning. Photo: ABC News/Jack Fisher
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Two food delivery drivers who say they were unfairly dismissed by Hungry Panda are taking their fight to the Fair Work Commission in a bid to have their jobs reinstated.

The Transport Workers’ Union on Friday lodged the unfair dismissal claims on behalf of Jun Yang and Xiangqian Li.

The union argued the food delivery platform terminated the drivers for protesting new pay rules.

In their claims, seen by the ABC, the men say there was no valid reason for their dismissal relating to their conduct or ability to carry out their work.

They also argue they were not given any reasons for their dismissal or a chance to respond to being terminated.

Jun Yang often worked 10-hour days and sent money to his family. Photo: ABC News/Jack Fisher

Mr Yang, 51, told the ABC he worked for Hungry Panda in Sydney for more than a year, working at least 10 hours a day, seven days a week to provide for his wife and four children in China.

Mr Li said he used the money he made delivering food on his motorbike for Hungry Panda to provide for his wife and son.

The unfair dismissal claims are the latest in the men’s fight against the food delivery giant.

Earlier this month the pair organised a small strike in Burwood to protest changes to the company’s pay structure, which they say significantly reduced their wages.

That afternoon the men received messages from Hungry Panda stating it had decided to “terminate the cooperative relationship” and immediately blocked them from the app.

Hungry Panda says the pair were terminated because of poor performance. Photo: ABC News/Jack Fisher

Mr Li said he was launching the case because he was angry about how he had been treated by Hungry Panda, which is based in the UK.

“It is unfair to expect people to keep working harder for less money,” he said.

“I protested because my pay was cut, even though the work is the same.

“After almost one year of hard work for Hungry Panda, I was sacked on 2 [February], the day I arranged the protest.”

Mr Yang said he was in a state of shock about losing his job.

“They slashed our pay, sacked us with no warning and now they are spreading lies that we were rude and abused customers.”

In a statement, Hungry Panda spokesperson Tina Sun said the riders “were removed from the app for failing to achieve the high standards that our customers and restaurant partners rightly expect”.

The Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine said it was bringing the action on behalf of the riders because their dismissal was “callously removing the income of two families with the click of a button”.

“Hungry Panda has raked in record profits over the last year thanks to the hard work of riders like Jun Yang and Xiangqian Li, who have in turn been treated as a disposable underclass.”

-ABC