Deliveroo couriers boycott popular York restaurant as pay rates ‘plummet’

York Deliveroo couriers outside Five Guys on Low Petergate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
10 Sep 2020 @ 12.25 pm
| News

Deliveroo riders protested outside a popular city centre restaurant today to express their anger over pay rates.

The couriers are not accepting deliveries between 11am and 11pm today (Thursday, 10 September) from Five Guys on Low Petergate.

They say they can be kept waiting for up to 40 minutes to collect the food – which they don’t get paid for.

Speaking outside Five Guys today, Deliveroo courier Cristian Santabarbara told YorkMix: “We are not paid our waiting times – and that is not good enough.

“We can be waiting from 15 to 40 minutes for an order. If you are doing two orders an hour, two lots of 15 minutes – that’s half your hour’s pay.

“In some cases riders will only be making one order in an hour and earning less than £4. How are you supposed to raise your children or pay your rent on that kind of money?

“We have members in the city who have mortgages, have children, relying on this job.

“And halving their hourly pay is unacceptable.”

Tried negotiating

They are not delivering between 11am and 11pm

Cristian, who is also also coordinator of the IWGB Couriers and Logistics branch York committee, said they have tried negotiating with regional managers, and have sent a letter to the Five Guys CEO “to no avail”.

“If Five Guys wants to spend hours making each order, polishing each burger and individually slicing each onion with a precision knife, that’s fine, but they should demand that Deliveroo pay for our waiting times.

“But this isn’t just isolated to Five Guys, this spans across all restaurants across Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

“We are not paid our waiting time on any of them – Five Guys just happens to be one of the lengthier times.

“And they’re a Deliveroo exclusive – which is why targeting them is the most effective way to communicate to Deliveroo that we as key workers who provide a key service to vulnerable people, deserve to be paid for our wait time.”

He said there are about 500 Deliveroo couriers in York, with between 80 to 160 active at any one time.

While YorkMix was interviewing Cristian, a member of Five Guys staff tore down a protest leaflet the protesters had taped to the window.

Deliveroo has said that Five Guys burgers are among the most popular dishes ordered by its customers in 2019.

Deliveroo’s response

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A Deliveroo spokesperson gave us this response:

“Deliveroo riders in York earn well above the national minimum wage on average.

“Our teams on the ground speak to riders in York often and consistently hear that satisfaction levels are high. Deliveroo is committed to supporting riders, who are at the heart of the company.

“This campaign is seeking to prevent families from being able to order their favourite foods, prevent restaurants from increasing their sales and to stop Deliveroo riders from completing deliveries and earning.

“This sort of disruptive behaviour is by no means representative of the majority of Deliveroo riders, who are hard-working, want to support local restaurants and want to make sure people get their food.”