Thousands of delivery drivers to strike on Valentine's Day

13 February 2024 by
Thousands of delivery drivers to strike on Valentine's Day

Thousands of takeaway delivery drivers are planning to strike on Valentine's Day to call for better pay and conditions.

Riders working for Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Stuart will stop work from 5pm until 10pm on 14 February in cities across the UK.

The industrial action has been organised by Delivery Job UK, a grassroots organisation that wants to draw attention to the low pay and risks faced by delivery drivers.

As riders are classed as self-employed contractors, they are not legally entitled to form a union or earn the National Living Wage, which is due to increase to £11.44 in April.

While delivery apps have said drivers typically earn equivalent to the National Living Wage or above, Delivery Jobs UK denied this and told The Caterer many they took home far below the legal hourly rate.

The group said one delivery app's compensation started at a minimum of £2.80 for trips of up to 1.8 miles, not accounting for the journey to the pickup location.

Delivery Jobs UK has written an open letter to delivery companies calling for a change.

"For four years, our wages have remained unchanged despite the rising tide of living costs," the letter read.

"Our dedication has been steadfast, yet the imbalance in our earnings continues. This Valentine's Day, our strike is a statement for equity and dialogue.

"We demand a fair compensation structure, one that not only keeps pace with inflation but also acknowledges the risks we navigate daily."

The strike comes after the Supreme Court ruled in November that Deliveroo riders were not legally classed as "workers" and did not have the right to form a union.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: "We offer riders the self-employed, flexible work they tell us they value, alongside protections.

"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."

A Just Eat spokesperson said: "We take the concerns of all couriers on the Just Eat network extremely seriously. Their welfare is important to us, and we welcome their feedback.

"Our data shows that couriers delivering for Just Eat earn, on average, significantly over both the London and National Living Wage for the time they are on an order.

"We provide a highly competitive base rate to self-employed couriers and have a good relationship with the vast majority of couriers across our network. In addition, we offer regular incentives to help them maximise their earnings and continue to review our pay structure regularly." told the BBC it was "committed to providing competitive earnings opportunities for courier partners".

UberEats has been contacted for comment.

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