Delivery workers for popular food delivery services such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats are organizing a strike on Valentine’s Day in order to protest for improved wages and working conditions.
The Wednesday strike is being coordinated by Delivery Job UK, a community-based organization with a large number of Brazilian members. They have stated that they have over 3,000 supporters in London and other cities.
The organization aims to bring awareness to the inadequate wages and unstable circumstances that drivers encounter, with many of them juggling multiple delivery apps simultaneously.
Delivery drivers who work through an app are typically categorized as independent contractors, which means their employers are not required by law to provide them with the minimum wage of £10.42 per hour. This rate is set to rise to £11.44 in April.
In November, a decision made by the highest court confirmed that Deliveroo riders are not considered “workers”. This came after the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain fought for their right to form a union and negotiate on their behalf.
An unidentified organizer from Delivery Job UK stated to the Guardian that it is challenging to make the national living wage, especially when considering expenses.
The platforms typically offer a fixed minimum payment for a job, along with an extra charge based on the distance. However, these rates fluctuate and drivers often express frustration at the lack of clarity in how they are calculated.
“The process is highly unpredictable – the algorithm and its calculations are unknown,” stated the event coordinator. They also expressed their desire to raise awareness among takeaway customers about the challenges faced by delivery drivers.
The Rodeo app gathered information from numerous couriers and enabled them to compare their earnings from different delivery companies. This data showed that fees were reduced in 2022 and 2023, despite a significant increase in inflation.
Unfortunately, Deliveroo is not included in this list as they have chosen not to allow their drivers to share their information.
According to Dr. Callum Cant from the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, who specializes in this field, the main issue with these apps in recent years has been the consistent decline in actual wages. This has resulted in a worsening situation over time.
He stated: “These employees are frequently overlooked and undervalued.”
Deliveroo has a voluntary agreement with the GMB trade union, which is meant to ensure they are paid at least the national living wage, plus costs, for the time they are on an order.
A representative for the company stated: “Deliveroo’s goal is to offer our riders the flexible employment they desire, appealing earning potential, and safeguards.”
Each month, numerous individuals submit applications to work with Deliveroo. The company has a high rate of rider retention and the vast majority of riders express satisfaction with their work at Deliveroo.
A representative from Uber Eats stated that their app allows couriers to earn in a flexible manner, on their own time and location. They have found that the majority of couriers are happy with their experience using the app.
Over 1,000 employees at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse are planning to go on strike from Tuesday to Thursday due to a disagreement over pay.