Delivery drivers in the UK for takeout are set to go on strike this Valentine’s Day to demand higher pay and better working conditions. The strike is expected to involve up to 3,000 drivers and riders, affecting four major food delivery apps, including Deliveroo and Uber Eats, between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM GMT on Wednesday.
Deliveroo has stated that its riders always earn at least the national living wage. However, many drivers remain dissatisfied with their compensation and working environment.
The strike aims to highlight the substandard pay and working conditions experienced by many delivery drivers across cities in the UK.
Apart from Deliveroo and Uber Eats, Just Eat and Stuart.com will also be impacted, as couriers who typically work across multiple platforms plan to boycott orders.
Although delivery drivers are not formally unionized, the GMB has reached an agreement with Deliveroo, which the union claims is the first of its kind in the food delivery sector. This agreement includes provisions for access to educational programs and a negotiated pay floor for fees, updated annually in April.
According to Delivery Job UK, delivery riders endure harsh weather conditions and cover long distances for deliveries that offer meager compensation, ranging from £2.80 to £3.15.
The group said on its Instagram page: “Sacrificing a few hours for our rights is essential, instead of continuing to work incessantly for insufficient wages. Our request is simple: we want fair compensation for the work we do. We are tired of being exploited and risking our lives every day… It’s time for our voices to be heard.”
It is reported that striking Deliveroo riders are demanding a minimum increase to £5 per delivery. Other companies are using their own pricing models.
In a statement, Deliveroo said: “Riders always earn at least the national living wage, plus vehicle costs, for the time they are working with us, though the vast majority earn far more than this. Riders are also automatically insured for free, covering them if they are in an accident or injured while working and receive income protection if they are unwell and cannot work.”
Just Eat also released a statement, which said that the company offers “a highly competitive base rate to self-employed couriers and also offers regular incentives to help them maximise their earnings. It added: “We continue to review our pay structure regularly and welcome any feedback from couriers.”