Delivery drivers of food-ordering platforms including Deliveroo and Uber Eats will be on strike on Valentine’s Day to demand better pay and conditions.
The strike on Wednesday (14) is being organised by a grassroots group, Delivery Job UK. It claims to have more than 3,000 supporters in London and several other cities. The group hopes to draw attention to the low pay and insecure conditions faced by drivers, many of whom work on several delivery apps in parallel.
App-based delivery drivers are generally classified as self-employed contractors, meaning their employers are not legally obliged to pay them the statutory “national living wage” of £10.42 an hour, due to increase to £11.44 in April.
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 spokesperson for the company said, “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.”
The potential strike action comes despite a court ruling that Deliveroo riders cannot be classed as “workers” and do not have the ability to form a union.
This next strike will follow the action on February 3 that saw orders thrown on the floor in London and Brighton as 3,000 riders refused to work. The action this week has been touted as bigger than the previous strike and has been organised by a group calling itself Delivery Job UK, although it is not an official union.
Deliveroo has reportedly offered drivers who do not strike a £10 bonus for completing five or more deliveries on Valentine’s Day.