At least 100 riders of food delivery app Foodpanda converged yesterday in front of the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila to protest against what they alleged was the company’s exploitative labor practices.
Wearing their trademark pink uniforms, the drivers alleged that they are getting minuscule pay after the company implemented a supposed unfair rating system. Tension erupted between the police force and the riders, with the authorities accusing the deliverymen of disrupting the area, and at least one Foodpanda worker was arrested during the confrontation.
Romeo Maglunsod, the spokesperson of the riders’ group called KAGULONG, said they want the app to change its rating system.
“If we riders do not unite, this is what would always happen. We will always be exploited by an unfair system where our rights are not being given to us, the right to benefits and a good livelihood,” ABS-CBN News reported him saying in Filipino.
One of the members of the group handed a letter to the Labor Department which asked the government to investigate the company and look into the demands of its delivery men. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will reportedly meet with the group to discuss their complaints against Foodpanda.
Meanwhile, the delivery app defended itself by saying that its new system was “more organized and fair” because delivery men are paid based on the “delivery distance.” However, it promised that it would look into the riders’ concerns.