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Foodpanda Says 10-Year Suspension of Riders a 'Technical Glitch'

The delivery platform wants to make things right.
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The 10-year suspension handed down to delivery riders on its platform was merely a technical glitch in its software, food delivery platform Foodpanda said on Wednesday (July 28). This was in reference to about 100 riders in Davao City who had been notified of the decade-long suspension from the platform for participating in protest actions against the company’s alleged unfair labor practices. 

Foodpanda said its rider software did not recognize the offboarding option and instead sent out the message for the 10-year suspension. 

“Our technical team has taken all the necessary steps to address this error and we have explained the same to riders who have attended our invitations for open dialogue,” Foodpanda said.

The company added that the riders who were offboarded have been invited to small group dialogues with the foodpanda team “to openly discuss the situation on each case, and the possibility of reboarding them.”

On the issue of supposed unfair compensation, Foodpanda said that rider fees are dynamic and are calculated based on multiple factors that include the route and distance of the delivery, making the payment structure more organized and fair. 

The earnings of riders on each order, it claimed, “are transparent at the point of their accepting each order before proceeding.”

“As a company, foodpanda is always working hard to keep operations running smoothly every day—so that restaurants can get orders, riders can deliver them for a living, and customers receive satisfactory service,” the statement read. “There are complex areas of balance that are critical so that everyone can be fairly compensated and satisfied.”

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The delivery platform, which is a unit of the Berlin-based Delivery Hero, also admitted that it failed to “communicate better,” adding that it is “always open to feedback for improvements.”

“[B]ut please rest assured that all communication channels are open especially to our hard working riders to express their concerns and feedback,” the company said. “We will continue to initiate and continue with regular dialogues to help riders better understand their earnings structure, and other benefits available to them." 

Last week, a public policy think tank called for a boycott against the tech platform because of the issue, saying that the fact that the digital platform considers its riders as “partners” and not as employees is, itself questionable.

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