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UberEats couriers occupy London HQ on national day of action

GIG-ECONOMY workers occupied Uber’s London HQ today in the latest action in a dispute over poor wages and working conditions.

Couriers of Uber Eats and supporters from the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) entered the lobby of the company’s office in Aldgate as part of the Fast Food Shutdown national day of action.

Protesters occupied the lobby for close to an hour chanting: “Uber, Uber you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side” and “five pound per drop or the work will stop.”

Action also took place in Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.

Workers are calling for a minimum of £5 per drop they make, up from the current £2.50, and £1 for every additional mile travelled to ensure they can make the living wage without having to overwork and drive riskily to meet orders.

The strikes follow previous industrial action by Uber Eats couriers across Britain.

Uber Eats has defended its pay scheme, arguing that the majority of its couriers use delivery work to supplement existing incomes, but couriers say they have to work over 12-hour shifts daily to make ends meet.

One courier told the Star he would work three hours to make an hour’s minimum wage.

A Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) spokesperson said the fact that Uber Eats couriers had decided to strike on the fast food national day of action, alongside McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s and Wetherspoon workers, indicated that low pay was an issue affecting people across the hospitality industry.

Uber drivers demanding for an end to unfair dismissals to workers were also at the London occupation.

IWGB United Private Hire Drivers branch secretary Yaseen Aslam said: “Drivers are being driven to destitution by the Uber sweatshop.

“It's about time the company respected the rulings of two separate judges and gave drivers the rights it is denying them. If they don't, the protests will only intensify.”

IWGB will be organising a strike for Uber drivers in London on Tuesday.

IWW spokesman James Camps said: "Unions and couriers working together showed their collective determination to win.

“By delivering the couriers' demand for £5 per delivery right to their doorstep we ensured that Uber can’t ignore us. Your move, Uber.”

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