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Deliveroo riders to strike as shares nosedive

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Hundreds of Deliveroo riders are expected to strike today in a protest about fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights.

The industrial action coincides with the start of unconditional trading in the company’s shares which debuted on the London Stock Exchange last week.

The floatation has already been dubbed one of the worst in LSE history with shares falling in value from 390p to 271p on the first day of trading. Deliveroo sold shares to customers in a ‘community offer’ prior to its initial public offering (IPO).

According to the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), socially distanced protests are planned in London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton.

A Bureau of Investigative Journalism study found that Deliveroo pays some riders as little as £2 per hour. This has led to a number of major investment firms stating that they will not invest in the food delivery business.

More than 70 MPs have already back the IWGB’s demands for fair terminations, income and health and safety protection for riders.

IWGB says the strike fund raised almost £10,000 in just a few days last week and, as well as protests in the UK, supportive action is expected in Australia, France, Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain.

Alex Marshall, IWGB president and former bicycle courier, said “Deliveroo presents a false choice between flexibility and basic rights but the Uber ruling showed that here as well as abroad, workers can have both. That is the least they deserve and what the public expects for our frontline workers.

“They said it couldn’t be done but by getting organised and speaking out, riders have triggered a domino effect which already slashed £3bn from Deliveroo’s valuation and that should give pause to any corporation that thinks precarious workers can be endlessly exploited without consequence. It’s time for Deliveroo to do the right thing, recognise its riders as workers and treat them like human beings.”