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Posted On: 4 September 2013 08:10 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

‘Low salary’ not worth the risk we face every day, say delivery boys

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Like labourers, delivery boys working for many fast food outlets and restaurants in Qatar have complained of receiving “a salary that is not worth the risk they face every day”. A Nepalese rider said he receives only about QR1,200 per month. He may get overtime pay, too, but it is not enough to compensate the daily hazards he faces on the road. “It is not enough to pay the bills and, most of all, to sustain our life. You can never tell when an accident will happen, given the nature of our job,” he stressed, pointing out that some of his colleagues have met with minor accidents on the road and suffered various injuries. Though delivery boys of some outlets use cars, many others ride motorbikes to make faster deliveries to residents. Using a motorbike may be the fastest way to deliver food, but it may also be the fastest way to take your life, the rider quipped. “What makes it worse is that your boss would ask you ‘how is the motorcycle?’ instead of asking ‘how are you? Are you ok?’. He has more concern for the vehicle than us,” he said. The delivery boys have to work during the day during peak summer as well. The only exception is the holy month of Ramadan when all food outlets are closed from morning up to Iftar. The government directive to stop “work in the open” from 11am to 3pm from June 15 to August 31 is also not followed in the case of delivery boys. In a separate interview, a Filipino delivery boy recounted that a compatriot working for a different fast food outlet suffered from aneurism and had to go back for good. He also echoed the statements of the Nepalese, saying they faced different hazards on the road besides the risk of being sideswiped by fast-moving vehicles. “Imagine how hard it is to ride a motorbike when a sandstorm strikes or when it rains suddenly,” he said. The Filipino added that the employer deducts from their salary for traffic violations like speeding. “The problem is they want us to deliver the orders as fast as we can without thinking that we can get actually caught by speed cameras,” he said. The delivery boy hopes to get a no-objection certificate from the employer so that he can apply for another job before the present one takes it toll. An Egyptian delivery boy recently resigned because of the same reason. A manager at a fast food outlet in Doha refused to comment on the issue. One of the delivery boys said their company has started buying cars instead of motorcycles for deliveries. It may lessen the risk but they hope to have a better and comprehensive health insurance package besides the usual health cards.