IWGB

“Worker status” for couriers!

Author

Zack, Deliveroo courier activist, Bristol Couriers’ Network — IWGB

The California state legislature has passed a landmark “AB5” bill to tighten legislation in the so-called “gig economy”, extending basic workers’ rights to many who had been deprived them.

In the USA, as in the UK, companies such as Uber or Deliveroo falsely categorise most of their workers as “independent contractors”. This deprives us of basic workers’ rights such as minimum wage, holiday pay, a pension, and collective bargaining rights. The number of workers with such jobs has more than doubled in the last three years, to around one in ten working-age adults.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Sacha Ismail and Ollie Moore

Tube union RMT suspended strikes planned by drivers on London Underground’s Central and Victoria Lines on 3-4 September, after bosses made a number of concessions.

The issues at the heart of the dispute include authoritarian management culture on both lines, and driver numbers on the Central Line particularly.

The union remains in dispute and activists say strikes should be reinstated if management renege on agreements.

Plans for TUC congress

TDL couriers turn tide

Author

Alex Marshall, TDL courier and IWGB rep

Twelve months of negotiating. The IWGB’s “Rise of the precarious workers” demonstration descending on TDL’s headquarters doorstep. Demonstrating outside the company Christmas party they weren’t invited to. A two day strike that included a motorbike procession to prestigious clients in the Harley Street area and temporary occupation of the company loading bay. Amazing speakers on the picket line including Owen Jones, Dave “Blacklist” Smith and Dr Louise Irvine and support from clients, entrepreneurs and heavyweights like the ITF.

IWGB debates democracy

Author

Zack, delegate to IWGB AGM

This is the second part of a report on the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union’s AGM on 8 June (first part in Solidarity 510, see here).

The AGM committed IWGB working closely with – and trying to revitalise – the wider labour movement, but voted against changes which would have made the union significantly more democratic.

IWGB surveys its work

Author

Zack, delegate to IWGB AGM

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), a seven-year-old small union of mostly low-paid, often precarious, and disproportionately migrant workers, had its union-wide AGM on Saturday 8 June.

The IWGB, with almost 5,000 members now, is known for a combative and creative approach to fighting for its members, with loud, disruptive and sometimes secret protests, flash-occupations, and the like. IWGB ‘s ten “branches” — what in many UK unions might be called “sections”, although with considerably greater autonomy from the central union — gave reports.

TDL out again on 10 June

Author

Duncan Parker, TDL courier and IWGB union rep

The couriers at The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) went on strike for the very first time for a 48-hour period on 24 and 25 May.

After a year of negotiations over pay and terms and conditions, where TDL used delaying and intimidation tactics, the couriers had had enough and balloted for strike action. The final straw was an attempt by TDL to force couriers into PAYE contracts with another pay cut. The ballot was a complete success with 85% voting for industrial action. We had two stunning sunny days and a great turnout for the strike.

Courier fight widens

Author

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee Chair

Couriers and IWGB members at The Doctor’s Laboratory will strike for 48 hours from 7.30 a.m. on 23 May until 25 May, over better pay and terms and conditions and equality with non-courier staff. TDL have been trying to illegally intimidate couriers out of striking, but have not managed. Deliveroo couriers will be joining them in solidarity.

Hitting dark kitchens

Author

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee chair

Deliveroo couriers struck in Cambridge on Sunday 5 May, targetting Deliveroo’s “dark kitchens”, storage units from which restaurant chains prepare food for a dedicated Deliveroo service. We have not yet established contact with riders there, and do not know exactly why they are striking.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Zack, Tom Saff and Ollie Moore

Success for Nottingham Riders Network
On Tuesday 30 April, Deliveroo responded to the Nottingham Rider Network - IWGB's demand letter. Beyond a load of the usual fluff, it became clear that NRN-IWGB had made steps forward: winning a hiring freeze, and an agreement to meet.

Nottingham strike on 4 May

Author

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee Chair

Deliveroo Couriers are to strike again on 4 May in Nottingham, for higher pay and better conditions. They have already struck and held various other actions, winning some small concessions, and are pressing on.

Their demands, in line with demands of most groups nationally, are for minimum pay of £1/mile, £10/hour waiting time, greater transparency and visibility within the app, a hiring freeze, no “terminations” without due process and adequate evidence, and more.

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