Ocado drivers have demanded the grocer bring in couriers in house on restructured contracts.
Drivers in Acton, West London said they wanted to be employed as Limb B workers – dependent contractors – as it was a “flexible employment model that works perfectly for the ad hoc, on demand business.”
In a letter to board members, Ocado Zoom workers said the change would mean “you also give us the rights we should have always had and that we are still entitled to.”
Ocado brought delivery activities in house on October 4, which the grocer said gave workers “certainty of hours, competitive remuneration, and access to employee benefits that we believe are market-leading.”
However, some staff said the delivery service had recently struggled with “overworked staff and late deliveries,” because there were “rarely enough drivers to work.”
Workers have asked for pay of £16 per hour, plus that Ocado also covers costs.
“This is by far cheaper for Ocado than purchasing a full fleet of vans and motorbikes, keeping them on site, making sure they are fully maintenanced, having an employed mechanic, […] the list goes on.”
“This worked impeccably for years and without this model Ocado are in danger of completley destorying a service that was a clear area of expansion for the company.”
Workers also want a “mixture of shifts and ad hoc work” and said this would maintain “the promise of rapid delivery in a context of unknown and fluctuating demand.”
“Due to the rigidity of the employment model we are hearing of deliveries taking hours to arrive, with loyal customers turning to other companies in order to have products delivered to them rapidly,” they said.
The letter also called for the firm to recognise the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain union, as well as the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
Drivers behind the letter make up a small proportion of the wider workforce, CityAM understands.