DoLE to probe Food Panda riders’ complaints

The Department of Labor and Employment has vowed to look into the grievances of the riders of food delivery app Food Panda.

Foodpanda riders converge in front of DOLE in Intramuros, Manila on Wednesday, November 18, to file a complaint against the company’s alleged unjust labor practices.

Riders of Food Panda went to the DoLE head office in Intramuros, Manila Wednesday to seek an audience and deliver a letter to Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III regarding unfavorable working conditions.

We will look into their grievances and probably reach out to Food Panda regarding this and we will find out what is their agreement,” DoLE-National Capital Region Director Sarah Buena Mirasol said in an online forum.

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In a statement, leaders of the Food Panda Riders Association and Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (KAGULONG) asked the DoLE to conduct an inspection for the purpose of resolving the grievances of the riders.

The riders expressed discontent over recent changes in Food Panda policies that have negatively affected their pay and working conditions.

“Pay is tied to bookings which are affected by so-called ‘grades.’ But the grading system is opaque. Grades have fallen due to changes in the system which penalize riders. Pay has also been reduced per delivery due to a new system,” said Angelo Sta. Maria of Food Panda Riders Association (FPRA).

The group said a policy called “undispatch” forces riders to rush in order to pick up an order, thereby putting their safety at peril.

They are demanding the removal of undispatch and transparency and fairness in policies, including the computation of the pay for deliveries.

Sta. Maria said: “Food Panda riders are called delivery partners but in reality are employees of the company owning the app. Food Panda riders are subject to control and supervision of the company as shown by the impact of policy changes on pay and condition. Food Panda riders are not independent contractors but ordinary employees of the company owning the app.”

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