Deliveroo riders across the UK are on strike today over their pay and working conditions, on the same day as the food delivery app’s first full day of trading on the London Stock Exchange.
The industrial action, which has been organised by the couriers and logistics branch of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, will include socially distanced protests in London, York, Sheffield, Redding and Wolverhampton.
Riders are demanding a living wage, safety protections and basic workers’ rights, the union said.
Last month the Bureau for Investigative Journalism reported that Deliveroo pays some workers as little as £2 an hour.
The revelation prompted major investment firms to pull out of Deliveroo’s initial public offering (IPO), wiping around £1bn off its valuation.
It also comes after the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as employees, rather than self-employed, which will grant them sick pay and holiday pay.
The legal battle has been viewed as a landmark case that could have knock on effects for other firms, such as Deliveroo, which use the “gig economy” model.
Alex Marshall, IWGB president and former bicycle courier, said: “Deliveroo presents a false choice between flexibility and basic rights but the Uber ruling showed that here as well as abroad, workers can have both.
“That is the least they deserve and what the public expects for our frontline workers.”
A Deliveroo spokesperson said that the union “does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour.”
“Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89 per cent of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority,” they said.
“We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week.
“Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50 million community fund.”