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Riders confront Deliveroo board on low pay and insecure jobs

Deliveroo riders co-ordinated by ShareAction and IWGB will attend the company’s AGM to challenge leadership on pay and job insecurity

(Wednesday 24th May) Today Deliveroo riders, co-ordinated by ShareAction and the IWGB trade union will attend the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in London to challenge the board on the issues of low pay and job insecurity created by their ‘independent worker’ status.

This comes in the wake of a legal challenge by Deliveroo riders to the Supreme Court employed over the company’s denial of collective bargaining rights, including the right to negotiate over pay.

Ian Morrison, a Deliveroo rider explained why he’s attending the AGM: "I’m going to confront the company that’s been exploiting me for profit for years. £2.90 for a single delivery is a joke. As a full time Deliveroo courier I was barely scraping a living and my mental health was seriously affected. We risk our lives on the road, and the pay and protections we get in return are insulting. I want to hold Deliveroo to account, correct the false narrative that riders are treated fairly, and expose the grim reality of our situation."

Ian Morrison is a food courier with over 5 years of experience who has seen no improvements to pay or working conditions since he started working at the company.

Alex Marshall, IWGB President and former courier says: "Deliveroo riders are dying chasing pennies whilst the CEO Will Shu's prime concern is the safety of his £600k salary. He’ll be hoping to gloss over his workers’ poverty pay and pitiful lack of safety protections at this AGM, but we’re there to ensure that doesn’t happen, and remind investors that Deliveroo is the most protested platform in the world. Despite Shu's claims that riders are satisfied, since Deliveroo came to London in 2016 workers have been joining the IWGB and taking actions to expose the reality of life on the road."

Dan Howard, Head of Good Work at ShareAction said: “Gig economy workers have been disproportionately affected by the cost-of-living crisis as job insecurity and poor conditions are exacerbated. The riders today are making it clear to Deliveroo and to shareholders that more protections need to be put in place for workers, both because it is the right thing to do and because Deliveroo’s current business model poses a risk to investors. We hope to see investors rally and support fair wages and secure contracts for vulnerable workers in their engagement with the company.”

The questions include the following pre-submitted questions, as well as several others that will be asked on the day:

“Deliveroo’s annual statement showed gross profits of 600+ million. Why are you not allocating more money to increasing fees at least in line with inflation?”

“The rate of terminations has increased sharply in recent months. I was recently terminated after working for Deliveroo for 6 years. I have 4 friends in the same position, all who have worked for at least 3 years as Deliveroo riders. This was our job that we relied on and we were good at it. Deliveroo explains that these terminations are triggered by the behaviour of riders, such as lateness, but if that were true, we wouldn’t expect such a sharp increase of riders, and not for such experienced riders as us. It is clear that other unexplained factors are at play beyond riders’ control. How would managers feel if there was a random possibility of waking up the next day without a job?”

The scale of mental health issues faced by riders has resulted in a question to the board on what they will do to address this. Riders such as Ian Morrison have suffered from anxiety and depression trying to make ends meet on a Deliveroo wage:

“Mental health and life satisfaction of gig economy workers is worse on average than that of other workers, explained by higher levels of loneliness and financial precarity. Do you accept that this is a fact for many riders like me? What was your methodology for your finding of rider satisfaction at 85 per cent?”

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