Deliveroo and Uber Eats riders strike on Valentine's Day
On Valentine's Day, delivery riders from companies like Deliveroo and Uber Eats plan to strike for better pay and working conditions.
he five-hour strike, from 5 to 10 PM GMT, may see up to 3,000 drivers and riders participate and will affect four major delivery apps.
A participating cyclist told the BBC that their compensation was incredibly low. Deliveroo responded, insisting that their riders earn at least the national living wage.
Delivery Job UK, the group organizing the protest with many Brazilian couriers, aims to highlight the issue of low pay and risky working conditions faced by food and grocery delivery workers in the UK. The group called for fair compensation, emphasizing the necessity of fighting exploitation.
Couriers from Just Eat and Stuart.com will also join the strike, disrupting services normally competitive across multiple apps.
The strike's reach extends to the US, where Uber, Lyft, and other delivery drivers plan a two-hour work stoppage, with no airport rides in 10 major cities, as per Justice for App Workers.
Delivery Job UK highlighted issues like inadequate pay, with deliveries earning between £2.80 and £3.15, and their desire for a minimum of £5 per delivery from Deliveroo. They also pointed out the dangers of violence faced by couriers at night.
Joe, a London courier striking on Wednesday, described the job as incredibly isolating and said many migrant workers are forced into these conditions without the ability to object.
Callum Cant, a gig economy expert and lecturer, noted a real-term 40% wage drop for couriers since 2018, with some earning as little as £7 per hour after expenses in London.
Despite not having formal union support, the GMB has an agreement with Deliveroo for education access and a fee floor, to be negotiated each April.
Deliveroo maintains that it offers self-employed, flexible work with protections, and riders earn more than just the living wage. They also provide accident insurance and income protection for illness.
Uber Eats claims most couriers are satisfied and the company is open to feedback to improve experiences, while Just Eat mentions a competitive base rate and incentives.
Stuart.com also asserts their commitment to competitive earnings for couriers.