Delivery Job UK, a grassroots organisation with thousands of members in London, has arranged a strike on 14 February to demand better pay and working conditions. It hopes to highlight the insecurity and subpar pay in the food delivery industry.
Those employed in the delivery driver industry are classified as self-employed, meaning their employees can pay them less than the statutory minimum wage – which currently stands at £10.42 an hour.
Delivery Job UK shared on Twitter/X: “This Valentine’s Day strike highlights the growing tensions between gig economy workers and the platforms they work for. As consumers, it’s crucial to consider the conditions under which our conveniences are delivered.
“Let’s stand in solidarity with those fighting for fair wages and better working conditions. It’s more than just a meal at stake – it’s about the dignity and rights of every worker.”
In November the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, representing gig economy workers, lost their battle in the Supreme Court to be able to unionise and bargain on behalf of riders, as they were deemed not to be “workers”.
Delivery drivers in the UK have complained of a lack of clarity and varying payments for jobs which usually offer a flat rate minimum with an additional payment fee.
Rodeo, a data collation app which allows riders to compare their payments, has found earnings were slashed in 2022 and 2023 despite high inflation. Deliveroo does not allow workers to upload their details.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Callum Cant from the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford expressed his concerns regarding decreasing wages and a lack of consideration for workers, who he described as “invisible”.
A spokesperson for Deliveroo told the newspaper: “Deliveroo aims to provide riders with the flexible work riders tell us they value, attractive earning opportunities and protections.
“Thousands of people apply to work with Deliveroo each month, rider retention rates are high and the overwhelming majority of riders tell us that they are satisfied working with us.”
An Uber Eats spokesperson said: “We offer a flexible way for couriers to earn by using the app when and where they choose. We know that the vast majority of couriers are satisfied with their experience on the app.”