Foodpanda stands by 'offboarding' protesting riders: Disruptions may affect system

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) — Foodpanda is standing by its “difficult” decision to offboard riders protesting its rider fee structure.

The food delivery firm said in a statement Monday it “made the difficult decision to offboard a small number of riders who have violated their agreement with Foodpanda by calling for disruptions that may affect the wider ecosystem,” referring to other riders, vendors and customers.

Several Foodpanda riders in Davao City were slapped with a 10-year suspension after the company heard about their planned silent protest against its payment system — with a local delivery rider association reporting their average ₱55 earnings per delivery getting slashed to almost half since last year. 

“Rider pay structure takes into account route and distance among other factors, allowing for a fair pay structure that is higher than other industries,” said Foodpanda, adding riders likewise enjoy benefits from its partnerships with other brands apart from their earnings.

These perks include discounts on fuel/mobile data, insurance at a “significantly lower price” for the same benefits, and free merchandise among others, it added.

Foodpanda also mentioned it has onboarded new riders and gotten back on board those who “still wish to be our rider partner, after a screening process.”

“As a platform, we are supporting thousands of riders and vendors who earn their livelihood and income with foodpanda, by delivering food and essentials to our customers’ homes,” it said.

“To ensure that the platform remains reliable for all our users, we sometimes have to take difficult actions to mitigate operational interruption,” added Foodpanda.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an agency briefing yesterday they will be inspecting Foodpanda given protests on alleged violation of labor rights, and that they will be getting feedback on this “anytime.”

Meanwhile, a document dated July 15 seen by CNN Philippines shows the agency's Davao regional office invited Davao United Delivery Riders Associations Inc. president and co-founder Edmund Carillo for a dialogue on the issue on July 26.

"The agenda of the meeting is to discuss the issues and concerns of the Food Panda Riders and to come up (with) an agreement on the matter," read the document.

This is not the first time Foodpanda made the news over concerns about its labor practices.

Last year, its delivery riders decried how its rider payment structure “negatively affected” their pay and labor conditions.

CNN Philippines digital producer Lisbet Esmael contributed to this report.