Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Open letter to Sec. Bello to help Food Panda workers


November 18, 2020

Department of Labor and Employment
Intramuros, Manila


Dear Secretary Bello:

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition comes to your good office in solidarity with some 700 riders of the food delivery app Foodpanda who held a “unity ride”  this morning to seek redress of their grievances in front of your office. Nagkaisa would like to request an inspection under Article 128 of the Labor Code (PD 442, as amended) in relation to the constitutional rights to security of tenure and to humane condition of work (Sec 3, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution). 

The protest this morning started in front of the Film Center/Cultural Center of the Philippines area and ended at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Though they encountered some police harassments in front of the DOLE office, leaders of the Food Panda Riders Association and Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (KAGULONG) successfully delivered a letter addressed to your office. The groups are asking the DOLE to conduct an inspection for the purpose of resolving the grievances of the Foodpanda riders. 

Nagkaisa was informed that the riders were contesting  the recent changes in Foodpanda policies that have negatively affected their pay and working conditions. 

Nagkaisa is cognizant of the fact that their pay is tied to bookings which are affected by so-called ‘grades.’ But the grading system is vague and not clear. Grades have fallen due to changes in the system which penalize riders and, thereby, reduced their take-home due to a new system adopted by Foodpanda  Further, the new provision  called “undispatch” forces riders to rush in order to pick up an order, thereby putting their health and safety at work in peril.

Nagkaisa joins in their demand  for the removal of “undispatch” provision and calls on transparency and fairness in the implementation of policies. They also call for the review of the computation of the pay for deliveries.

Most importantly, Nagkaisa calls for the DOLE to declare Food Panda as employer of its riders since the latter are subject to control and supervision of the company as shown by the impact of policy changes on pay and condition. 

Nagkaisa supports their contention that FoodPanda riders are not independent contractors but ordinary employees of the company owning the app.

Nagkaisa expresses its solidarity and deep admiration for the riders of Panda and calls on your good office to address their concerns in the soonest possible time.

Lastly, Nagkaisa manifests its protest on harrassment and interference that happened on said peaceful assembly. One of the leaders was arrested by the police  (though released after some talks and negotiation). 

Thank you and warm regards.

Very truly yours,

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition

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