On Tuesday 16th August, striking Deliveroo drivers were out on their 7th day of strike action, and were facing their final 24-hours before losing their jobs.
Drivers assembled at 11am at Primrose Hill and at 12noon at Torrington Place outside Deliveroo HQ to hold a protest against Deliveroo’s unreasonable plans – namely to make people sign up to new terms that would result in a pay cut, or to just lose their jobs altogether.
Finally, at around 6pm, a delegation of drivers entered Deliveroo HQ and demanded to negotiate with Management. Management again refused Union reps, but accepted 10 drivers to talk.
The main demand of the delegation was to make it an actual trial by allowing drivers to Opt-Into it, not Opt-Out of it.
If Management agreed to this, they’d be scrapping the Wednesday deadline, allowing people to continue to work on the old contract, and allowing drivers a choice over their payment method and the nature of their work.
Negotiations took about 1 hour, and the results were as follows:
- Deliveroo agreed that it would no longer be compulsory for drivers to sign up to the news terms, for the duration of the trial.
- Drivers who chose to opt-out of the trial would have to move zones, but it could be one that was close to their old zone (under 2 miles), and be of the driver’s choosing, not Deliveroo’s choosing.
- Drivers who opt-out will be guaranteed the same hours they had in their old zone.
- No-one will be victimised or sacked as a result of the strike.
- Deliveroo Management will consult their lawyers and print off a copy of the agreement in writing to give to the delegation.
The driver delegation came out and reported this news to the remaining drivers and supporters in the street. Drivers waited 15-20 minutes for the paper copy, but Deliveroo Management then refused to give it to them, saying we should read the blog instead, and that they didn’t want to give us a bit of paper out of fear that drivers “would wave it around and hail it as a victory”. So, eventually, drivers reverted to the Roo Blog, and awaited an email confirmation, which you can read below:
It’s important to note that ultimately, the two major victories of the strike are as follows:
- Friday’s agreement to guaranteed pay during peak hours – a good win, and a direct result of 2 day’s disruption and media pressure – but also it’s only what Deliveroo already know that they can afford. The problem is not having guarantees during off-peak times, and that the guarantees at peak-times will expire on September 14th.
- Tuesday’s agreement to guarantee jobs and that there’s no need to sign up to the new terms – again, another huge win, and a result of exposure and pressure resulting from the strike.
The strike was then immediately called off, and drivers prepared to return to work on Wednesday 17th August.
On Wednesday, many drivers chose to stay in their zones and trial the new pay-per-delivery system, because they prefer working in their familiar area. However the IWGB has already had reports that they are working faster and harder, traveling longer distances, and taking more risks than when they were on £7+£1 scheme.
Two drivers have already had road accidents and drivers also reported that now aggression towards restaurants is increasing, as drivers are no longer being paid to wait while the order is prepared.
More on this to follow, but we’re pretty sure that Channel 4 and the Financial Times who are continuing to follow the story will report on it next week.