Just Eat strike: Sheffield City Council leader Terry Fox sends support to striking Stuart delivery workers

Sheffield Labour councillors have visited a food courier strikers’ picket line to deliver a message of support from council leader Terry Fox.

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 1:16 pm

Labour councillors handed over the letter to food delivery workers protesting outside the Greggs takeaway on Pinstone Street near to the town hall. The strikers work for delivery firm Stuart, who are contractors for Just Eat.

The strike action works by couriers boycotting deliveries of orders made to the target company on the Just Eat app for several hours a day.

The members of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are protesting against payment changes they say equate to a 24 per cent pay cut by courier business Stuart.

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They have been taking action since December and their picket lines and protests have previously targeted McDonald’s.

The action has now spread to Chesterfield and several other towns including Huddersfield, Blackpool and Sunderland.

The letter from Coun Fox says that he is ‘sickened’ by the pay cut. He says that Greggs should live up to their own ethical standards on their treatment of workers and urges the firm to ‘sit down with their delivery partner Stuart and demand a fairer deal for delivery drivers’.

Here is text of the letter in full:

Sheffield Labour councillors join a Just Eat/Stuart delivery drivers' picket line outside a Gregg's takeaway on Pinstone Street, Sheffield, taking a letter of solidarity from council leader Coun Terry Fox

“Dear Comrades, On behalf of Sheffield City Council and the people of Sheffield, I wish to send you a message of solidarity.

“As a miner and trade unionist who battled for justice for my fellow workers in the 1980s, I understand the importance of your struggle. Your strike gives hope to the thousands of people in our city exploited by distant managers in the gig economy.

“This is a deplorable situation to be in and you should expect better”

“I am sickened that you have been handed a 24% base rate pay cut by delivery firm Stuart during a cost-of-living crisis that is hurting so many people in our city.

A copy of the solidarity letter from Sheffield City Council leader Coun Terry Fox to striking Just Eat/Stuart delivery drivers which was shared by Coun Ben Miskell on Twitter

“Across Sheffield people are having to make a choice between putting food on their families’ tables or heating their homes.

“For delivery drivers who kept our city moving during the pandemic, this is a deplorable situation to be in and you should expect better.

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“We must not forget that it was you that powered our city and kept our economy open during the pandemic, often working at great risk, whilst others stayed at home.

“It is also important that companies like Greggs, who have many branches in Sheffield, live up to the ethical standards that they have publicly set themselves. Workers that deliver those pasties the final mile to people’s homes deserve the same regard as employees in their own stores.

“As a trade unionist, I know the power of getting parties around a table and negotiating. That’s why I am calling on Greggs to sit down with their delivery partner Stuart and demand a fairer deal for delivery drivers.

“Your ongoing action demonstrates the power of collectivism. Together, we are stronger, and it is in that spirit that I send you my solidarity, alongside the support of my colleagues in the Labour Group on Sheffield City Council.

“Yours in solidarity.”