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Red Dot United honors Singapore’s food delivery heroes on Labour Day

Red Dot United members expressed gratitude to food delivery riders in Clementi ward, highlighting their vital role during Covid-19. They proposed an insurance scheme, “RIDERS,” to support these essential workers.



RDU Honors Food Delivery Heroes in Labour Day Tribute

SINGAPORE: Secretary-General of Singapore’s alternative party Red Dot United (RDU), Ravi Philemon, along with RDU members, made a significant presence felt in the Clementi ward of #JurongGRC on Labour Day (1 May).

They extended their heartfelt appreciation to the food delivery riders who served as lifelines for tens of thousands during the Covid-19 confinement period.

Despite their vital role, these riders often go unrecognized and unappreciated.

“Recently, the government acknowledged many of these heroes from the healthcare sector and so on and so forth and recognize them. But I’m not too sure if the food delivery riders were as recognized or not,” Mr Philemon stated.

In a gesture of gratitude facilitated by generous sponsors, RDU presented the food delivery riders with brand new mobile phones as tokens of appreciation.

It is noted that according to a Censuswide survey commissioned by Deliveroo in November 2023, the use of food delivery platforms has become an integral part of daily life for many Singaporeans.

The survey, which involved 1,000 respondents, revealed a significant adoption of food delivery services among the population.

RDU proposes ‘RIDERS’ insurance scheme for food delivery riders

During the visit, RDU proposed the establishment of an insurance scheme tailored specifically for vulnerable workers who rely on walking, cycling, or using motorbikes to carry out their deliveries.

“Our food delivery riders are usually the most resilient, yet also the most vulnerable of the gig economy workers,” stated Liyana Dhamirah, RDU’s treasurer.

“We are pleased that the government has extended the Workmen’s Compensation Scheme to these workers starting this year, but we feel that for these particular workers, it is not enough because this scheme mainly covers mainly deaf and permanently disabled,” Ms Dhamirah continued.

“We should look at creating an insurance scheme, particularly targeted at these vulnerable workers who will cycle or use their motorbikes to ply their trade.”

The proposed scheme, named “RIDERS” (Rapid Income Delivery Ensuring Reliable Support), aims to provide a monthly income benefit to riders who are unable to work due to illness, including mental health conditions, or injury.

The RIDERS scheme is designed to alleviate some, if not all, of the financial burden faced by food delivery riders during periods of inability to work, ensuring a reliable support system for these essential workers.

Through initiatives like these, RDU aims to address the needs of the community and champion the welfare of those who contribute significantly to Singapore’s daily life.

“Many of them are our ‘invisible’ heroes”

In a separate Facebook post, Mr Philemon addressed the significant contribution of food delivery riders, referring to them as “invisible heroes.”

He emphasized the pivotal role these individuals played, particularly during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on the past, Mr Philemon highlighted how, just a couple of years ago, food delivery riders served as lifelines for many confined to their homes, providing essential access to food and connection to the outside world.

The encounters with these riders yielded poignant stories that left a lasting impact on Mr Philemon and his team.

One such story involved a food delivery rider who, forced to close his restaurant during the Covid-19 crisis, turned to delivery work as a last resort to support his family.

“His words still ring in my ears,” Mr Philemon said.

Despite facing immense challenges, including working long hours and experiencing a debilitating mini-stroke, this rider remained resolute in his commitment to providing for his loved ones.

Sharing his experience, the rider emphasized the temporary nature of the financial assistance he received, underscoring the responsibility he felt towards his family’s well-being.

His unwavering dedication to his children’s future resonated deeply with Mr Philemon, reinforcing his conviction in advocating for change and addressing societal inequalities.

“We hope to create a better country for our people. The people who walk alongside us, make this a reality, a possibility.”

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