Grab Food riders form union; seek better working conditions

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

Banding together under the battle cry “organize, fight, and win,” close to 200 food delivery riders in Iloilo City formed their own union.

The founding members of Iloilo Grab Riders Union (IGRU), a union of delivery riders working under Grab Philippines in Iloilo City and nearby provinces, said they have decided “to unite and promote camaraderie, solidarity, and to strive for our rights and better working conditions.”

The group held its general assembly and official launching at the Barangay San Rafael Covered Gym at Mandurriao, Iloilo City on November 24.

A unity motorcade followed shortly after.

Union president Jenner Crasco said they will have the union registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the hopes that their organization would have more teeth in fighting unfair and unjust practices they experience.

In Iloilo City and nearby towns, around 300 delivery riders work for Grab Philippines.

Crasco said some opted not to join after they were called last week by the local Grab Philippines management.

“I don’t have any idea what was discussed. But when they got wind of our plan to organize a union, the management talked to several riders,” he said.

Crasco believed that the meeting was meant to discourage their fellow riders from joining the union.

“But I don’t see anything wrong with what we are doing. All of these are legal,” he said.

In the end, Crasco said their actions are deemed to benefit every rider.

As far as the group is concerned, they are the first Grab Food delivery riders to be organized in the country.

“This might be used as a model in other areas,” Crasco said.

Once officially organized, the riders would push for fair delivery earnings.

Currently, the base delivery fare for Grab Food is P28.

They would also fight against the arbitrary and unfair suspension and terminations of riders’ accounts without going through due process.

Since there is no employer-employee relationship between the riders and the company, they are not also entitled to benefits.

“Hopefully, we could ask for coverage, health care, and similar benefits,” he said.

Crasco noted that there are several riders who were severely injured while on duty but they got no support from the company for their medical needs.

It was gathered that the IGRU has the backing of the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisang at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO).

Partida Manggagawa also expressed support for the group.

Grab Philippines has yet to comment on the union’s formation.

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