Striking Deliveroo couriers held a rally in York this evening (Wednesday) to call for better pay and working conditions.
A socially-distanced protest rally took place in St Sampson’s Square in York – and there were similar events in London and Wolverhampton as part of a national day of action.
Ethan Bradley, secretary of the couriers section of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), told YorkMix: “We’re striking because we have watched our pay fall throughout the pandemic.
“And we are denied the basic workers rights that most workers have, including the minimum wage, and sick pay holiday pay.
“Deliveroo has over-hired massively during the pandemic. As gig economy workers, who are paid per delivery, we’ve watched our orders tumble, we’ve watched our earnings tumble – at a time of significant economic upheaval.”
Demand has reduced as people are ‘tightening their belts’ and ordering less takeaway food, Ethan said. So riders were waiting around with no orders coming through.
One investigation had found “that some delivery riders can make a little as two pounds an hour and over a third don’t make the national minimum wage at all”.
Deliveroo floated on the Stock Exchange on 31 March, and today was the first day of full trading of shares, which saw them rise in value slightly.
“The bosses are getting multi-million pound payouts – the founder got £500 million alone – and this is the real time to shine a light on the conditions we face as workers,” Ethan said today.
Deliveroo said it surveyed 8,500 riders on Tuesday and 89% said they were satisfied working for the company.
The company disputed the union’s claims, saying only a “tiny minority” of workers took action, adding it was launching a consultation with riders about how to invest a new £50 million community fund.