Brighton Deliveroo riders threaten strike action

Posted On 07 Feb 2017 at 3:42 pm

Deliveroo riders in Brighton are threatening to protest and strike if the company doesn’t pay them more and stop over-hiring.

by Mosieur J on Flickr

by Mosieur J on Flickr

The multinational online food delivery company is part of the gig economy, claiming it does not directly employ its riders, which exempts it from paying the minimum wage and other basic benefits such as rest breaks, sick and holiday pay.

However, following a ruling last year that Uber drivers are employees not contractors, the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) is seeking a similar ruling for Deliveroo riders.

And in the meantime, it is calling on the company to improve the pay per delivery from £4 to £5 and stop over-hiring, which has led to riders sometimes waiting up to four hours for a job, IWGB claims.

Brighton Deliveroo rider Guy said: “Now as a result of over-recruitment it is becoming relatively common to work on average for £4 an hour, especially during the day from Monday to Thursday, when you only get one delivery an hour.

“Even if we solve the issues of over-recruitment we still need to get a better pay so that we manage to earn the minimum wage when all costs are included.

“I’ve known some riders to be sitting in the zone centre with no work for three to four hours. If we can act together we can force them to listen to our demands and we know that the IWGB has been successful with this in the past.”

Brighton riders joined the IWGB over the weekend following a meeting with union reps who have already started representing riders in London.

The IWGB already is fighting to secure union recognition, a collective bargaining agreement for Deliveroo’s riders in Camden, London, and the recognition of the riders as “workers” rather than “independent contractors” legal proceedings it initiated in November, 2016, a month after the Uber ruling, which is being appealed.

The IWGB has achieved a series of victories for workers in the so-called “gig-economy”, most recently securing employment rights, including holiday pay and minimum wage for a bicycle courier employed by CitySprint, in a landmark ruling.

The union is also backing cases against courier firms including Addison Lee, eCourier, Excel, with hearings expected from March through the summer.

IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch Chair Mags Dewhurst said: “It’s really heart-warming to see Deliveroo riders up and down the country coming together to unionize and fight against unfair work practices. They are fighting against the darkest forces of modern employment work practices.

“The Deliveroo riders are not asking for anything unreasonable. They deserve the right to the national minimum wage, a fair contract and paid annual leave. These riders have the full support of the IWGB.”

However, a Deliveroo spokesman said that most of its riders are very happy working with the company.

He said: “Deliveroo has a strong relationship with riders and we strongly condemn the misleading claims and threats made by the IWGB, who misrepresent the views of the vast majority of riders who work with Deliveroo, who it says earn on average well over the minimum wage.

“Hundreds of riders currently work with us in Brighton, with hundreds more applying to work with us every single week – the vast majority of whom want the flexibility that comes with self-employment.

“The IWGB does not seem to understand how Deliveroo works and does not understand what motivates the vast majority of riders who work with us. Indeed riders with Deliveroo in Brighton earn on average well over the minimum wage.

“We will continue to engage with riders directly to ensure that as the company grows, our riders continue to benefit from that growth.”

The current minimum wage is £7.20 an hour for over-25s, £6.95 for 21 to 25-year-olds and £5.55 for 18 to 20-year-olds. Under-18s are entitled to just £4 an hour.

  1. DL Reply

    They did strike last weekend

  2. Pingback: Brighton Deliveroo riders threaten strike action - News for the Gig Economy

  3. Eric Gautier Reply

    Good they are a menace on the Pavements and Roads. Hope they go on strike permanently.

  4. Charlie Bones Reply

    They should still get a fair wage. All workers in this country should get at least the minimum wage, the contractors loophole takes us back to the nasty, not enough to live on, slave wages of the pre-1990’s.

    • Francesca Darling Reply

      It’s driving me insane. The noise. Incessant!!!!!!!! The Disrespect. law unto themselves. Insane unlawful driving. Sending me over the edge. How many times have I been told to F off????whether i’m in my car, or walking with my little boy, and I’m fully considerate whichever. Almost run over approx 5 times. Bike suddenly appears from around the corner at speed and suddenly we have to run.

  5. Diana Azzarone Reply

    These drivers are not just a menace they are also BREAKING THE LAW on a daily basis! They’d go the wrong way in one way streets causing fear to other road users and they drive on pavements frightening pedestrians, there have been some very narrow escapes. How long will it be before a major accident occurs? It’s only a matter of time! I suffer from Parkinson’s disease , and the stress caused by some of the drivers to me is totally unacceptable.
    On the nuisance side, the noise that their bikes make from noon to midnight drives everybody crazy. My son, who lives near the station, gets no rest from the continual high-pitched sound of the engines every few minutes and it is making his life a misery .w

  6. Chris Reply

    I wonder whether anyone believes Deliveroo riders are doing it for fun – riding in the dark and freezing rain for less than the minimum wage in the face of almost universal hostility? They do it because they are, variously, poor or desperate and need to eat and pay inflated rents. I do understand that this activity can inconvenience those more fortunate, and invade their cosy comforts. Its not ideal by any means, for anyone. Riders can not even afford to eat the quality food they are paid peanuts to deliver to those far wealthier than themselves.

    • DianaAzzzarone Reply

      They still have to ride/drive within the law!!! No one is above the law!!!

  7. Pingback: Modernist Sussex And a Way Out of Crisis | Palaces & Workhouses

Leave a Reply to Diana Azzarone Cancel reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.