Brighton Deliveroo drivers have claimed a “fantastic victory” as the company temporarily halts recruitment after threats of action by union members.
Deliveroo, however, insists that the pause is part of their normal operations, and not a response to threats from the union.
The IWGB Couriers And Logistics Branch, who represent some riders, are in dispute with Deliveroo over pay, conditions, and recruitment.
The union have been threatening action if their demands for higher pay (£5 a delivery vs. the current rate of £4), a recruitment freeze, and an end to what they describe as ‘victimisation’ are not met.
Deliveroo riders bring takeaway food from a number of local restaurants to customers who have ordered online. Riders are sent to restaurants and homes via an app, but do not receive and hourly wage – instead, being paid a flat rate for every delivery.
Riders in Brighton have already taken part in a one day strike in January 2017.
Yesterday evening Deliveroo emailed their Brighton riders to say that, since they have met the required number of riders, recruitment will be temporarily stopped.
The news will come as a relief to some workers who felt that increasing numbers of drivers were making it harder for them to earn a living.
One Deliveroo Rider explained: “More often than not it is over-hired and it just becomes desperate for people.
“They have these big bursts where you get loads of people hired and there is suddenly no work.
“People who are relying on it are struggling, and find themselves earning £4 an hour.”
A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “We are proud to have a strong relationship with our riders and are pleased to be able to offer them flexible, well-paid work which fits around their other priorities, such as studying, starting a small business, or personal commitments.
“We are working with a small number of riders in Brighton to understand some specific questions they have raised about how they ride with us and we look forward to continuing our discussions with them.
“Over one hundred people apply to ride with us every single week in Brighton, which shows working with Deliveroo is extremely popular and valued by riders.”
The pause in recruitment does not mean that the riders are giving up their fight, with a campaign planned if the company does not meet their other demands.