RIDERS with food courier firm Deliveroo in Leeds are to stage a mass protest cycle in the city on Friday after two riders were sacked and five had their hours cut for contributing to an online union chat site.
Deliveroo employs about 300 riders in the city with only 30 of them working full-time. Others, including students, work just a few hours a week. Most of the full-timers in Leeds joined the international trade union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Among them was 22-year-old Jack Hannam from Bradford, who joined the union in December. He got a job with Deliveroo six months ago after graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.
About a month ago the union set up an online group chat on mobile app Whatsapp, which encourages people to exchange information and debate issues.
“One rider who was disgruntled for some reason showed it to management and within a week two union members who were active on it had their contracts terminated,” said Mr Hannam.
“Five of us had our hours cut. I had about 40 hours scheduled and they have been taken off me. I have to apply for work. I haven’t had any work for about two weeks now.”
Friday’s protest ride, which is supported by union Unite Community, starts at 6pm from Leeds City Square and ends there with speakers.
Deliveroo riders in London staged strike action last year after the company tried to abolish their hourly rate and pay them only per delivery.