Sheffield McDonalds stop taking delivery orders as drivers strike over pay
Branches of Mcdonalds in Sheffield stopped taking delivery orders last night as drivers for Just Eat began their strike over pay.
Sheffield’s Just Eat drivers, who are employed by company Stuart Delivery, went on strike yesterday (December 6) following a decision by the company to cut their pay for deliveries where the journey is less than 0.5 miles.
They are picketing at McDonalds to begin with and confirmed at a rally on November 28 that they would expand this line to cover other food outlets they serve as the weeks go on.
Yesterday evening, hours after the strike begun, organising union Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) confirmed that McDonalds branches in Sheffield had stopped taking orders for delivery, and praised their striking members for making this happen.
A spokesperson for IWGB said: “So far, strike so good! Various McDonalds being forced to switch off as the South Yorkshire couriers strike piles the pressure on Stuart Delivery.
“That’s gonna be a lot of angry customers!! And we have a lot more of this lined up!”
Branches of McDonalds on Farm Road, Archer Road, in Handsworth and on High Street all announced that they were no longer taking orders.
And supporters of the strike claimed that McDonalds workers were showing their support for the delivery drivers, too.
One wrote on Twitter: “On joining the picket outside McDonalds High St I was delighted to hear about McD staff turning off the tablet so there'd be no delivery orders. And even more delighted to hear it's happened at several -'various' - stores. Excellent solidarity from McDonalds workers!”
The drivers are protesting a wage cut that came into force on December 6, which will see the minimum delivery fee for journeys below 0.5 miles drop from £4.50 to £3.40.
Organisers of the strike say they are calling for no pay cuts, a minimum of £6 plus mileage per delivery, £15 per hour payment for waiting times after 10 minutes and a recruitment freeze.
Sheffield-based Bryn Atkinson-Woodcock courier explained the reality of the situation drivers are in.
He said that food couriers often make just £400 from working seven days a week, doing 10-12 hour shifts, due to the fact they spend so much on fuel, maintenance and don’t get paid for time spent waiting.
He said: “The reason we are out today is because we are being exploited in the shadows. The adverts say self employed couriers get £15-20 per hour but it is advertised as one thing and the reality is another.
“We often work for far below minimum wage. There is a reason there are barely any British drivers doing this.
"That is why I am here: to shed light on the fact that a lot of drivers are first or second generation immigrants who tell me they are just happy to have a job.
"But why is the Government allowing these companied to make millions out of this attitude?
"It would be one thing if these companies were struggling, but we know Stuart made millions last year, and we know their parent company made £800 million in profit last year.
"During the pandemic we were working non-stop. We risked our lives, did not see our families, and many got Covid, and now we are facing a pay cut as well."