On 7 April, couriers working for Deliveroo struck across the UK. They were joined by many couriers working for other food delivery platforms including UberEats and Stuart.
The demands of the strike were around pay, safety and employment rights. On pay, the union is demanding guaranteed living wage after vehicle and other costs; an end to unpaid waiting times in restaurants; an end to over-hiring which floods the streets and reduces the work that all couriers can get; and holiday and sick pay.
In terms of employment rights the union is calling on Deliveroo and other companies to agree to collective bargaining; implement a transparent pay scale rather than the current, opaque algorithm; and fix a fair process for terminations, ending the current state of affairs, where drivers can be sacked as a result of a single anonymous piece of feedback from a client, with no right of appeal.
The strike marked a big leap forward for the union in several areas such as London or Berkshire, where riders’ organisation has come on rapidly in recent weeks. In established union centres like Sheffield, drivers rallied and protested together for the first time after the start of the latest lockdown. Couriers are debating the next steps for action, with some arguing for strikes early in May.