Courier fight widens

Submitted by AWL on 22 May, 2019 - 10:40 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.

The second issue of Puncture, the IWGB Deliveroo bulletin, started being distributed on Thursday 16 May. We’ve had very good reception from the first one, and we had way too much content to fit into it — a good problem to have! It’s on A3 folded, with two sides in English, and two sides in Portuguese — a large number of couriers are Brazilian.

Beyond the issues covered in Puncture #2, couriers have been organising to tackle a restaurant refusing toilet access in Bristol, and raising concerns of what seems like Deliveroo stealing tips. On 17 May, it was revealed that Amazon is the biggest investor in Deliveroo’s latest round of fund raising, which overall raised £450 million. Amazon, like Uber, have reportedly previously tried to buy out Deliveroo. Deliveroo said it would use the money for international expansion, growing its “dark kitchen”, and “improving its service”. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of higher or more secure pay.

In itself, investments in Deliveroo, Deliveroo expansion, or Deliveroo being taken over by other companies are not bad – these all have potential positive (as well as negative) sides. It shows that they could easily afford to pay us better, and more securely, but that we need to fight to win this.

Stuart couriers, subcontracted by JustEat, continue to become more organised nationally. Many Deliveroo couriers also work for Stuart and/or UberEats, often simultaneously, because of the precarious nature of the work. We will be — I hope — working very closely with IWGB Stuart couriers, and other takeaway platform-based couriers.

Internationally, in Bologna, couriers for Glovo, a service similar to Deliveroo occupied Glovo’s headquarters on Monday 13 May, following the company’s refusal to accept or negotiate their demands following a strike the previous Friday.

• TDL picket line details here

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