Sheffield Deliveroo drivers form own union in bid for better pay and conditions

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Deliveroo drivers in Sheffield have formed their own union branch as they step up their efforts for better pay and conditions at work.

This is the latest action by the city’s takeaway couriers who have held a number of strikes in recent months.

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They are protesting primarily against a cut in the minimum payment per delivery, which they say has been slashed from £4.25 to below £2.21 in some cases.

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Deliveroo drivers.Deliveroo drivers.
Deliveroo drivers.

Drivers also want the company to provide what they call 'dignity at work', with other demands including payment for the time couriers spend waiting for food to be prepared and protection from abuse by restaurant workers and customers.

They congregated in their vehicles at Waitrose in Sheffield on Saturday to start a union organising campaign before going to locations around the city to talk to other couriers about joining the fight.

Martin Mayerm, secretary of the Sheffield Trades Union Council, said “No company should think it can get away with a business model based on low pay, casualisation, bogus self-employment, and arbitrary cuts in pay for deliveries.

“Yet that is of the precisely what Deliveroo – a hugely profitable global company - is doing.

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“Fair pay, job security, and union recognition are essential rights for all workers.”

Deliveroo claims the recent changes to its pay structure mean more than 70 per cent of orders across the UK now offer a higher fee than before, with riders in Sheffield earning over £11 an hour.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “Deliveroo is proud to offer flexible, well-paid work to over 25,000 self-employed riders in the UK, who enjoy well-paid, flexible work.

“The flexibility that comes with working with Deliveroo means riders can fit work around their life, not the other way round. Riders can choose when and where to work, and whether to accept an order.

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“The company has recently introduced changes that mean riders are now getting higher fees for the longer distance deliveries they make.

“As well as providing flexible work, Deliveroo wants to give riders security. That is why Deliveroo was the first company in the on-demand economy to offer riders free accident insurance for all riders.”