FoodPanda riders refute Bello’s claim that they’ve settled with management
DAVAO CITY—The group of riders of the popular food delivery app FoodPanda refuted the claim of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that everything had been settled between the management and the riders earlier suspended for 10 years for initiating a silent protest over their measly pay.
“We have not settled with the FoodPanda management yet because our dialog is still scheduled on (July) 26th,” said Edmund Carrillo, president and cofounder of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc., on Tuesday. “It’s not true that we have settled with FoodPanda. We are still waiting for the dialog called by DOLE in the region to come up with an agreement with management and a possible solution,” he told Inquirer.
Bello was quoted on television saying that except for a few, most of the riders had already settled with management and were already back to work as early as Friday.
“What do they mean we’ve already patched up?” he asked. “Does it mean that FoodPanda has already ironed out the system and the exact computations of our earnings? That everyone who was suspended would already return to work without pre-conditions? That we could already avail of the health and accident insurance which they deducted from our salary every month?”
Glen Costan, one of the riders, said they wanted to look into the health and accident insurance that the company had arranged for them because of an earlier case of a rider who had an accident but had difficulty claiming his insurance.
Carrillo earlier told the Inquirer that the management had been conducting individual dialogs with affected riders, allowing those who would identify the leaders of the scheduled July 14 and 15 “offboarding” to go back to work.
“They have been conducting individual meetings with the riders and those who would tell on six of their leaders would be allowed to return to work,” Carrillo said.
But he said more than 30 riders vowed not to attend the individual meetings called by management as they preferred to face FoodPanda on the 26th at the DOLE office here.
Carrillo said the management had been trying to divide the ranks of the riders by talking to them individually. Some riders continued to get a message from management asking them for a meeting tomorrow, July 21, to iron out the issue.
“They’re trying to divide us, to bury the issue and drown our calls. I hope DOLE and Secretary Bello will see this,” he said. “We still hope that FoodPanda management will face us during the dialog with DOLE so that everything will be transparent. We urge Secretary Bello to listen to us and get our side. We are still hoping that DOLE, even if it would not take side with us on this issue, would at least be fair,” he said.
The riders initiated the silent protest after their pay suffered a precipitous decline last month, following the new payment scheme that the company implemented in May. The new payment scheme factored in the distance for each rider’s trip. Food Panda used to charge a minimum flat rate of P55 and a maximum of P75 for the most productive riders, regardless of the distance.
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