Thousands of takeaway delivery drivers across the UK are set to strike on Valentine’s Day 2024, demanding better pay and working conditions, The Caterer has reported.
The strike, organised by Delivery Job UK, will see riders from delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Stuart halting their services between 5pm and 10pm on 14 February in cities across the country.
Delivery Job UK, a grassroots organisation, is spearheading the industrial action to highlight the challenges faced by delivery drivers, including low pay and the risks associated with their jobs.
Despite being a crucial part of the foodservice sector, the riders have been classified as self-employed contractors. They therefore lack the legal right to form a union or receive the UK’s National Living Wage, which is set to rise to £11.44 per hour in April 2024.
Delivery apps have claimed that drivers typically earn an amount equivalent to or above the National Living Wage but Delivery Job UK contests this assertion and has told The Caterer that many drivers take home far below the legal hourly rate.
They have revealed that the driver’s payment from one delivery app begins at £2.80 for trips up to 1.8 miles (2.8km), not including the journey to the pickup location.
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To advocate for change, Delivery Job UK has sent an open letter to the delivery companies, which it showed to The Caterer.
The letter stated that “…for four years, our wages have remained unchanged despite the rising tide of living costs.
“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.”
This action follows a Supreme Court ruling in November 2023, which determined that Deliveroo riders could not be legally recognised as workers, thus denying them the right to unionise.
Earlier in 2024, Dutch food ordering platform Just Eat Takeaway announced the closure of its in-house delivery service in Paris, France, Reuters has reported.
The move to cease operations in the city follows a previous shift in company strategy.