DOLE urged to probe ‘labor abuses’ reported by food delivery riders
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to investigate the reported incidents of “labor abuses” experienced by food delivery drivers of delivery app Foodpanda.
“Nananawagan ako sa DOLE na aksyunan agad ang hinaing ng ating delivery riders na nakararanas ng panggigipit sa mobile app operators. Bawat araw na sila ay nababalahaw ay katumbas ng isang araw na wala silang maiuuwing kita sa kanilang pamilya,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(I call on the DOLE to act immediately on the grievance of our delivery riders who are experiencing harassment by mobile app operators. Everyday they are embroiled equates to a day they have no income to take home to their family)
Hontiveros made the call after Foodpanda suspended for 10 years some of its drivers who protested against the app’s wage policy, which was said to cause their earnings to decrease to as low as P20 per ride.
Foodpanda Philippines explained they suspended some riders because they were found to have broken their agreement with the company which caused “disruptions in the operations that affect the wider ecosystem of restaurant-partners and customers.” It also assured they are aware of concerns raised by the riders and urged them to share feedback through the app’s support channels.
The senator said the DOLE should thoroughly look into the working conditions of the riders not only to avoid interruptions in the service, but to ensure the delivery riders’ protection as workers.
“Hindi man itinuturing sa ngayon na empleyado ang mga delivery riders, sila ay mga manggagawa na naghahanapbuhay at tumutulong hindi lang sa kanilang pamilya kundi sa ekonomiya. Hangga’t walang inilalabas na guidelines ang DOLE o hindi sila namamagitan ay walang mangyayari,” Hontiveros said.
(Although delivery riders are not considered employees today, they are still workers who earn a living and help not only their families but also the economy. If DOLE continues to not issue guidelines or they do not intervene, nothing will happen)
“Failure to act on such grievances is negligence on the part of the government. Hindi pwedeng nakatengga lang tayo habang alam nating may posibleng pang-aabuso na nangyayari sa ating workforce, sa gitna ng pandemya,” she added.
(Failure to act on such grievances is negligence on the part of the government. We can’t just wait while we know there is possible abuse going on in our workforce, in the midst of a pandemic.)
Further, Hontiveros urged DOLE to issue guidelines and labor standards to protect and promote the welfare of delivery riders.
“Isang napakahalagang punto ng aming resolusyon ay, given recent changes in the way people work, perhaps we should make sure our labor laws protect all workers and not just those regularly employed,” she said.
(A very important point of our resolution is, given recent changes in the way people work, perhaps we should make sure our labor laws protect all workers and not just those regularly employed.) — Sofia Vertucio, trainee
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