Bristol Deliveroo riders announce all-out strike

Deliveroo riders in Bristol have announced an all-out strike from 18:00 this Friday (18 January 2019) until the next day.

15 Jan 2019| News

Photo by Ross Sneddon

Bristol Live reported that both cycle and motorcycle couriers will gather in the city centre on Friday evening and log-out of the apps they use to make deliveries in a protest against the company regarding riders’ employment status, pay and conditions.

”Deliveroo is now valued at more than £1 billion. But despite this, they have squeezed our pay and refused to improve conditions,” one of the couriers – Tyrone – told the newspaper.

This will be the fourth instance of action Bristol riders have taken against the company, following a national strike in October, a rally on December 11 and an unofficial strike later the same day.

Couriers told Bristol Live Friday’s event – the first offical strike – would be the biggest yet, following failed negotiations with Deliveroo.

A meeting between the riders and the company’s management was held last week, but the couriers were left unimpressed by the firm’s response to their demands.

They are not guaranteed a minimum wage, are not provided with pension, holiday or sick pay, and have to cover their own equipment costs, tax and national insurance, as a result of being classified as self-employed. The riders are protesting for better pay and conditions, particularly after recent changes to their contracts made earning a living harder.

Tyrone told Bristol Live: “Deliveroo changed our pay last year – they said this would mean we earned more. But instead they cut pay and riders have had to work longer distances for less money.”

Couriers also face long waits at restaurants that have not yet prepared the food required for delivery and are not paid for this time, he explained.

“Deliveroo have repeatedly said they are working to deal with long wait times, but in reality they are shifting the cost onto riders who still face waits of 20 minutes or longer,” he said.

“Last year Deliveroo doubled their revenue thanks to us – couriers doing hard, dangerous work, working long hours in all weather,” he continued.

”We know they can afford to pay us more – on average we reckon they make £10 or more per order – but for doing all the work we are paid about £4 of this.”

Tyrone said that the riders would continue to take action against the ‘gig’ economy firm until it changed its attitude towards its riders.

”…when Deliveroo decides it does care about what its workers want, we’ll be ready to talk … Until then, the only way we can see pay and conditions improving for us if we fight for them,” he said.