Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and co-Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas  urging the company to accept the IWGB’s demands to increase what it pays its riders in Brighton.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has asked Deliveroo to increase the drop rate from £4 to £5 and to impose a hiring freeze in Brighton, where too many riders fight over a limited number of jobs, resulting in many earning below the minimum wage.

“I am disappointed that Deliveroo did not respond to the union’s offer to engage in negotiations… I am writing now to pledge full support for the Deliveroo riders in Brighton and their chosen path of a union campaign through the IWGB,” John McDonnell said in his letter sent last night (22 February).

“As you are aware concerns have been expressed that Deliveroo are classing its riders as ‘independent contractors’ and as a result depriving them of employment rights,” the Shadow Chancellor said. “I would call on Deliveroo to meet with the IWGB with the aim of securing a deal over the modest demand made by your riders. I would be happy to help facilitate any discussions with the union in this regard.”

While last week Deliveroo announced a recruitment freeze, a move the IWGB, the Shadow Chancellor and the leader of the Green Party welcome, it has not been willing to come to the negotiating table to discuss the pay increase.

“With many riders facing large gaps between jobs, often not through choice, the hourly rate falls well below the national minimum wage. My own position is that no riders should be earning less than the living wage after expenses,” Lucas, Green Party co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavilion, said in her letter.

The IWGB gave Deliveroo a two week window, which expired on 21 February, to negotiate better terms or face mass action.

Since then Deliveroo has been bombarded with emails from various groups stating their support for the riders’ demands. The company has received emails from groups including The Unite Nottinghamshire NHS Branch, The Hastings & District Trades Union Council, The Sussex Labour Representation Committee, the University of Chichester UCU branch and several local Labour party branches.

A petition urging Deliveroo to increase the pay of its riders has now been signed by over 5000 people and preparations are being made by the union for further action against the company, which will be announced in the coming days.

The IWGB already is fighting to secure union recognition and a collective bargaining agreement for Deliveroo’s riders in Camden, London, as well as the recognition of the riders as “workers” rather than “independent contractors” in legal proceedings it initiated in November, 2016.

The IWGB has achieved a series of victories for workers in the so-called “gig-economy”, most recently securing employment rights, including holiday pay and the minimum wage for a bicycle courier employed by CitySprint, in a landmark ruling. The union is also backing cases against courier firms including Addison Lee, eCourier, Excel, with hearings expected from March through the summer.

For further information please contact:

Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary
02034907530 / 02035383720