A Deliveroo courier who alleges receiving as little as £2.90 per delivery is among a group of fast food riders staging a protest outside Deliveroo’s annual general meeting (AGM) in London. The riders gathered on Wednesday to demand improved pay and working conditions outside 100 Bishopsgate, while Deliveroo’s CEO, Will Shu, conducted the AGM inside. The demonstrators held banners displaying the words “Shame on Shu” and chanted “Deliveroo, you’re no good, pay your riders like you should.”
Campaigners from ShareAction and the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) collaborated to challenge Deliveroo’s board and criticize the remuneration package of the company’s executives. Despite Deliveroo posting a loss of £245.6 million in 2022, Mr. Shu received a salary of £600,000 and a total pay package worth £625,000 for the past year.
Joe Durbidge, a 31-year-old Deliveroo rider with four and a half years of experience, spoke out about his challenging circumstances. He revealed that he works 50-hour weeks and earns as little as £2.90 per delivery. Durbidge expressed his dissatisfaction with the job, stating that conditions are constantly deteriorating and that his fees have remained unchanged since he began working. He described the physically and mentally demanding nature of the work and emphasized the desire for fair compensation for the efforts put in by riders.
This protest follows the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain’s recent challenge to Deliveroo in the Supreme Court regarding collective bargaining rights. After seven years of legal disputes between the company and the union, the IWGB is appealing a decision that denies Deliveroo workers in Camden the ability to form a collective bargaining unit, on the grounds that they are classified as self-employed rather than employees.
Although Deliveroo formed a partnership with the GMB union last year, it has faced criticism from the IWGB. Alex Marshall, the president of IWGB and a former courier, asserted that riders have been joining the union and taking action to expose the realities of working conditions since Deliveroo arrived in London in 2016.
Dan Howard, the head of good work at ShareAction, highlighted the disproportionate impact of the cost-of-living crisis on gig economy workers and emphasized the need for enhanced worker protections. He stated that the riders’ demonstration sends a clear message to Deliveroo and shareholders that safeguarding workers is not only morally right but also mitigates risks to investors posed by the current business model.
In response to the protests, a Deliveroo spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to providing riders with flexible work, attractive earning opportunities, and security. They claimed that Deliveroo receives thousands of rider applications each week, reports high satisfaction rates, and maintains strong retention rates based on surveys conducted among thousands of riders. Rider satisfaction in the UK is reportedly at 83 percent, with a retention rate of approximately 90 percent, according to Deliveroo.