Sheffield delivery drivers' McDonald's boycott enters second week in pay row

Delivery drivers in Sheffield are continuing to refuse to pick up orders from McDonald’s as a row over pay enters its second week.

By David Walsh
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 1:54 pm

Members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain voted to continue a boycott of outlets in the city between 5pm and 10pm every night.

In a video message, one member says strikes are also taking place in Chesterfield, Sunderland and Blackpool.

Read More

Read More
The Mirador: Mystery of £70m Sheffield tower block in Shalesmoor granted permiss...

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Delivery drivers in Sheffield are striking for a second week over pay and refusing to pick up orders from McDonalds.

He added: “We are going to take over the UK and leave Stuart Delivery no choice but to pay us better - and we are going to win this!”

The drivers are employed by Stuart Delivery which is sub-contracted by Just Eat.

WHAT IS THE STRIKE ABOUT?

They are protesting over a wage cut on December 6 which saw the minimum fee for journeys below half-a-mile drop from £4.50 to £3.40.

Drivers outside McDonald's on High Street in Sheffield city centre - they are employed by company Stuart Delivery which is sub-contracted by Just Eat.

They say the leaves them on less than the National Minimum Wage after paying for car insurance, petrol and other costs. And they are calling for a minimum of £6 plus mileage per delivery, £15 per hour for waiting times after 10 minutes and a recruitment freeze.

But Stuart Delivery says fewer four per cent of deliveries are less than half-a-mile and under the new system ‘a substantial proportion’ will be paid more.

In a post on Twitter, ‘IWGB Couriers Sheffield’ state: “Strike week two and we are stronger than ever! Sheffield delivery drivers are united, focused & not backing down. Stuart Delivery and Just Eat listen to your workers and implement a pay rise now so we can return to serving our communities.”

Members of the Independent Workers of Great Britain voted to continue a boycott of outlets in the city between 5pm and 10pm every night.

WHY IS SHEFFIELD TUC BACKING THE DRIVERS?

Sheffield Trade Union Council is backing the strike.

Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC secretary, said: “These are some of the lowest paid and most exploited workers in our city. They deserve a pay rise, not a pay cut!

“They are also demanding official recognition of their union and resolution of a number of grievances including unfair sackings for no reason and with no right of appeal.”

He added: “Stuart Delivery are the villains of the piece here as they are the ones who have imposed the pay cut.

“But they are subcontracted by Just Eat, so Just Eat has to take full responsibility for the way these IWGB members are being treated.”

A Just Eat spokeswoman said: "We are keen to maintain an open dialogue on issues that are important to couriers. We are working with our third party delivery partner and are having ongoing discussions with them and couriers on this matter."

A Stuary Delivery spokeswoman said they changed model to pay couriers based on the distance they travel per delivery.

A delivery with a travel distance of up to 0.5 miles would be paid an initial amount of £3.40, in addition to a mileage fee for every mile after that, plus any eligible rewards.

‘Multiplier rewards’ run every week, as do ‘per drop-rewards’, which factor in on top of distance earnings, she added.

Based on recent data, fewer than four per cent of deliveries completed by couriers on the Stuart platform in Sheffield are shorter than 0.5 miles. And a ‘substantial proportion’ would therefore see an increase in pay.

She added: “The change to our pay model was made to ensure couriers on the Stuart platform will be paid more fairly based on the distance they travel per delivery. This is part of our commitment to being the best delivery platform for couriers looking for flexibility and financial stability.

"The new model has been developed to work for all couriers, whether they do shorter deliveries more frequently or fewer, longer trips, and will continue to guarantee pay per hour that is among the highest in the sector.”

To continue holding the powerful to account and giving people a voice, The Star needs you to subscribe, please.