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Couriers walk in latest clash on minimum fees

Deliveroo strikers joined by staff of Uber Eats and Stuart

DELIVEROO couriers in Bristol went on strike last night in their latest battle against the gig economy giant.

They were joined by riders from rival firms Uber Eats and Stuart, a new corporation.

Up to 100 strikers from campaign group the Bristol Couriers Network demanded a minimum fee of £5 per delivery, paid wait times at £10 per hour and an extra £1 per mile on orders.

One rider taking part in the strike, Paul, told the Morning Star: “Last year Deliveroo doubled their revenue thanks to us — couriers doing hard, dangerous work, working long hours in all weather. They are now valued at more than £1 billion.

“But despite this they have lowered pay and ignored repeated requests to improve conditions.

“We know they can afford to pay us more — on average we believe they make £10 or more per order, yet for doing all of the work riders just receive about £4 of this.

“Many full-time riders are now struggling to pay bills and put food on their own tables.

“This strike is not a one-off action. We’ve already had action here last October, which was the largest courier strike outside London, and a spontaneous strike in December which shut down almost all the restaurants on the app.

“We aren’t going anywhere and things are only going to escalate from here on out if our demands aren’t addressed.”

Industrial Workers of the World Couriers networklead organiser Chris Fear said: “Today’s strike is a reflection of lots of different issues boiling over. The dispute is grounded in the fact that Deliveroo refuses to listen to what its workers are actually saying.

“There’s disquiet about reduced fees, mixed in with fury over the recent termination of hundreds of Deliveroo couriers, just days before Christmas.

“Add into that anger about recent immigration raids directly targeted at couriers, and the hostile environment that Deliveroo is actively cultivating towards its own workers, and you have a very real desire for change that’s motivating these actions. Talking to Deliveroo hasn’t worked. Perhaps striking will. “

Another courier, Tyrone Falls, urged people to donate to the couriers’ strike fund. “One of the main reasons people say they can’t strike is because of financial concerns.

“We don’t want people to be so close to the breadline that they can’t afford to stand up for their rights. We urge people to put one hand on their hearts and the other in their wallets.” 

A Deliveroo spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the action and claimed: “In Bristol, riders earn on average well over £10 an hour and earnings rose throughout 2018.” 

They said the Deliveroo model allows riders to “choose when and where to work, allowing them to be their own bosses.”

Uber spokesperson said: “Uber Eats offers a flexible way for couriers to make money by simply logging in and out of the app when and where they choose.

“This month couriers using our app in Bristol took home an average of more than £8 per hour with many also using other delivery apps. Our door is always open for feedback and we host regular events with local couriers to discuss questions or address any issues they're having.”

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