This study analyzes the nature and working conditions of food and service delivery workers from the perspectives of the digital platform operators (i.e., management representatives, marketing personnel, and the like) and delivery riders (i.e., food delivery and courier service riders) through an online survey and interviews. From a business perspective, digital platforms are complex and continuously evolving. From a worker’s point of view, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided unparalleled opportunities for workers and businesses to thrive in this kind of industry.
Flexibility, autonomy, and the choice to work anytime and anywhere are factors that make this job popular. Though delivery riders are generally treated as independent contractors or freelancers as explicitly stated in their service agreements, platform businesses only serve as mediators between the clients and riders. Finally, for the digital platforms to innovate and attain decent work for their workers, they must: (1) adapt their business model to the local market and context as most of them originated from developed countries; (2) formalize the employment status of delivery workers primarily for statutory benefits; and (3) innovate continuously to leverage the use of technology and rise of globalization for the benefit of the stakeholders in the platform industry.
KEYWORDS: digital labor platform, platform work, food and service delivery, delivery riders, working conditions
RESEARCHERS: Raymond R. Estrella, Ivan Cassidy F. Villena, Miraluna S. Tacadao