​The Valentine's Strike by Deliveroo and Uber Eats Riders

​The Valentine's Strike by Deliveroo and Uber Eats Riders

Posted by Emily on 12th Feb 2024

On Valentine's Day, a significant number of food delivery drivers, estimated at 3,000, plan to strike from 5 PM to 10 PM GMT. This protest will impact services across four major food delivery platforms, including Deliveroo and Uber Eats, with drivers demanding better pay and conditions. A participating cyclist told the BBC that the current pay is "absolutely ridiculous," a sentiment echoed by many colleagues facing similar frustrations.

UBER Eats Delivery Cyclist Riding Through a Busy Oxford Road in Manchester shopblocks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The strike, orchestrated by Delivery Job UK - a grassroots courier group predominantly composed of Brazilian workers - aims to spotlight the inadequate pay and challenging work conditions in the UK's food delivery sector. Their message is clear: "Sacrificing a few hours for our rights is essential," underscoring the urgency for fair wages and safer working environments.

This action is not limited to the UK; it extends to the US, where app-based workers, represented by Justice for App Workers, will also pause services to demand change. The protest underscores the global nature of the issue, with workers facing similar challenges worldwide.

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The striking drivers are advocating for a significant pay increase, with Deliveroo riders requesting a minimum of £5 per delivery, a response to what they perceive as decreasing fees and a lack of incentives. This dispute's backdrop includes safety concerns, with reports of increased violence against couriers during evening deliveries.

Industry experts, including Callum Cant, have highlighted a stark reduction in couriers' earnings, with wages dropping by 40% in real terms since 2018. Despite the challenges, companies like Deliveroo and Uber Eats maintain that they offer flexible, fair-paying opportunities to their riders, emphasising regular engagement with couriers to improve their work experience.

Deliveroo Cyclist on a Bike in Manchester shopblocks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As this Valentine's Day strike unfolds, it is a pivotal moment for the food delivery industry, prompting a reevaluation of how gig economy workers are compensated and protected. It's a call to action for companies and consumers to consider the sustainability and fairness of the current system.

We invite you to share your thoughts and perspectives on this issue in the comments below.

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