Food delivery riders hold ‘protest ride’ vs. ride-hailing, delivery firm

FOOD delivery riders in Cebu working for ride-hailing and delivery firm Grab took to the streets on Thursday, Nov. 10, to express their dismay over the alleged “arbitrary cut” of their pay and other incentives for every delivery they make.

More than 50 delivery riders held a protest ride and short demonstration on Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

The riders cried foul over the reduced pay and incentives that they receive for every delivery and the lack of other benefits like health and safety insurance.

But officials of Grab Philippines condemned the actions of the riders who participated in the protest ride, saying that some of those who joined the protest were no longer connected with their company.

“Basically, the sentiment that they raised is not reflective of the entire sentiment within the driver community in Cebu,” Grab Philippines told SunStar Cebu on Thursday.

Grab Philippines added that there are thousands of delivery riders in Cebu and having only around 50 riders who participated in the protest does not reflect the sentiments of the entire fleet.

Jefren Abalo, convenor of the United Delivery Riders of Cebu, said during the protest that the company is no longer treating them as partners and would impose drastic changes without consulting the delivery riders first.

New scheme

According to Abalo, the food delivery platform introduced a new scheme wherein the riders will be given two deliveries from a single store going to separate customers in different locations.

The problem with this is that the rider can only collect payment from one of the deliveries while the other payment would go to the management, according to Abalo.

The new scheme was introduced to the drivers in October 2022, but no proper consultation was conducted by the management before its implementation, he added.

Abalo also said the company has reduced the incentives that they can earn for every successful delivery.

The riders also protested the lack of insurance provided to them by the company that they could avail of in the event of work-related accidents and other emergencies.

Abalo and his fellow riders said they plan to organize a massive demonstration involving all riders in Cebu if their demands are not met.

Adjustment ‘necessary’

But Grab Philippines justified that the adjustments were made to keep the platform afloat amid the economic challenges that the country is experiencing right now.

The company added that they are also no longer collecting commission from the riders for every successful transaction that they can make.

By adjusting the delivery fee, the platform has attracted more customers to order food products and still provide income to their partner delivery riders, the company said.

“In light of these adjustments, they are earning above or at par with the living wage. That is a guarantee, particularly from Grab and what is also interesting is that it is still much higher versus what their peers from other platforms are actually earning,” said Grab Philippines.

For Grab Philippines, their office is always open to discussing the concerns of the riders in a proper forum without bringing them onto the streets. (IRT)