Deliveroo riders have unionised with GMB Union, bringing together more than 90,000 self employed riders.
Through a Voluntary Partnership Agreement, GMB will have rights to collective bargaining on pay and consultation rights on benefits and other issues, including riders’ health, safety and wellbeing.
GMB Union and Deliveroo have signed an historic union recognition deal covering the company’s more than 90,000 self-employed riders.
Deliveroo and GMB bosses heralded the deal as the first of its kind, which recognises that riders are self-employed. A UK Court ruled that Deliveroo could continue to describe its riders as self-employed last summer.
Will Shu, Deliveroo founder and CEO, said he was delighted to partner with the GMB in a “first-of-its-kind voluntary agreement.” The move would give self-employed riders “flexibility, guaranteed earnings, representation and benefits.”
The agreement was “exactly the sort of partnership the on-demand economy should be based on,” Shu added.
“This voluntary partnership is based on a shared commitment between the GMB and Deliveroo to rider welfare and wellbeing. Together, we are focusing on what matters most to riders. Deliveroo was amongst the first platforms to offer riders free insurance, which we have extended to cover periods of illness and support for new parents, and we are proud to be able to build on that with this new partnership,” the CEO added.
“Tens of thousands of riders for one of the world’s largest online food delivery services will now be covered by a collective agreement that gives them a voice – including pay talks, guaranteed earnings and representation in times of difficulty,” Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said.
“Riders deserve respect for the work they do; and Deliveroo deserves praise for developing this innovative agreement with GMB – a blueprint for those working in the platform self-employed sector.”
However, the move was denounced by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which has lobbied for Deliveroo riders to be recognised as employed.
In a statement, the union said Deliveroo had made a “backroom deal” with the GMB, which “presents no threat to their exploitative business practices.”
It comes as the IWGB is set to appeal a case preventing collective bargaining among riders to the Supreme Court.