The IUF-affiliated National Union of Food Delivery Riders (RIDERS-SENTRO) held a press conference on November 3, to denounce the systematic violation of rights and persecution of delivery riders by Grab and Foodpanda in the Philippines.
In recent weeks food delivery riders mobilized to protest against an unfair fare matrix suddenly imposed by Grab. In response to the protests, Grab terminated and suspended riders for speaking out. At the same time, Foodpanda continued its abusive, unsafe practices, placing food delivery above the safety and wellbeing of riders.
Grab is poised to take over Foodpanda operations in the Philippines. Delivery Hero, the Germany-based parent company of Foodpanda, is ignoring these rights abuses as it prepares to sell delivery operations in several Asian countries including the Philippines.
National Union of Food Delivery Riders (RIDERS-SENTRO) Press Release [PDF]
RIDERS PRESS CONFERENCE TO LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON NOVEMBER 3, 2023
QUEZON CITY — After the massive mobilizations of Grab riders in Metro Manila in the previous month, it is unfortunate that Grab continues to ignore the legitimate grievances of its partners. With many riders slapped with arbitrary suspensions, RIDERS-SENTRO finds no choice but to continue our campaign to advance the full respect and recognition of riders’ rights across all platforms. To this end, RIDERS-SENTRO held a press conference to publicly launch a national campaign called Respect Riders’ Rights. Among the demands that we riders will forward include:
- Fair rates
- Comprehensive insurance
- Magna Carta for Delivery Riders
- Reinstatement of suspended delivery riders
- Union representation of delivery riders
The speakers at the press conference were the suspended riders from both Grab and Foodpanda. They spoke about riders’ issues such as the recent imposition of the unfair fare matrix, which the riders opposed. However, Grab’s response was to terminate and suspend the riders who protested against it. Many such riders were terminated by Grab because they attended assemblies intended to raise the concerns of all riders with regards to various issues and, most importantly, the issue of the fare restructure that will reduce their income.
The issue of insurance was also brought up at the press conference as riders frequently face the threat of accidents on the road. RIDERS – Pampanga member Jeremiah Javier shared that just recently in Pampanga, one of their colleagues met with an accident while on duty. The first question of their dispatcher was “was the food delivered?” Foodpanda also suspended the rider after a few days. Platform companies only give medical reimbursements, if any. More often than not, it is the riders themselves that come together to help each other in accidents or in death.
Mary Rose Evardone, a Grab rider that has been red-tagged and suspended twice, called for due process. Despite important service both to the company and the general public, as well as the regular nature of delivery riders’ work, they continue to be treated as “delivery-partners, free-lancers, self-employed and independent contractors”. This is used to justify their lower incomes and the lack of sufficient social protection, despite the fact that their work can reach 12-15 hours a day, and that platform company management has the power to suspend and off-board riders, even without due process.
RIDERS-SENTRO sees that the root problem of these issues is the platform companies’ lack of respect towards delivery riders. Instead of taking proper action, platform companies respond with termination and suspension of riders who call for respect for their rights. With this, RIDERS-SENTRO has launched a petition that calls on legislators to pass the Freelance Protection Bill and for customers to support their delivery riders. The petition can be accessed through https://chng.it/vhLnRBxbyc.
The National Union of Food Delivery Riders, is the first and only national union of delivery riders in the country. It has members from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that forward riders’ interests for decent work and just livelihoods. Its riders are from different apps such as Grab, Foodpanda, and Maxim.