Cyclists and moped drivers protested outside the company’s London HQ on Friday but now they’re threatening to protest outside popular restaurants in the capital that use the UberEATS platform to deliver their food to people’s homes and offices.
UberEATS is used by over a hundred restaurants in London including Mexican chain of Chilango and Greek street food outlet The Athenian.
The strike action is the latest sign that people working in the so-called sharing economy are unhappy with the contracts offered by the billion dollar tech giants that rely on them.
Last week, over 100 couriers at rival firm Deliveroo protested over proposed changes to the way in which they’re paid, with some saying they would end up earning less than minimum wage on a new payment trial that pays riders £3.75 per delivery. But Deliveroo is no longer the only restaurant food delivery company facing a backlash from riders.
UberEATS drivers currently earn £3.30 per delivery when they work off-peak, as well as a mileage payment, minus a 25% cut that UberEATS takes, The Guardian reports. Those that work between 11:30am and 2:30pm reportedly get a £4 “promotion” for each job, while those that work between 6:30pm and 9:30pm get a £3 promotion per job.
Some drivers can earn £10 an hour on this plan but sometimes they end up earning less than minimum wage over the course of a week, according to pay records cited by The Guardian.
The striking UberEATS couriers reportedly chanted “Uber, shame on you” and held signs reading “Uber cheats” as they called on UberEATS to pay the London living wage of £9.40 an hour. In addition to more money, couriers also want to be classed as employees.
UberEATS is refusing to meet with the drivers as a group, instead offering to talk to them on a one-to-one basis.
An UberEATS spokesman said: “The reason we did not want to speak with them as a group is because everyone tells us they want different things.
“Our office is open and our team is always available to chat to couriers. We held a breakfast for the drivers on Friday to give them a chance to discuss anything.”
One of the lead protestors, Imran Siddiqui, has reportedly been “sacked” by UberEATS as a result of the strike activity. However, UberEATS says the account deactivation was not linked to the protests.
Alex Czarnecki, general manager for UberEATS London, said in a statement:
“We’re committed to being the best option for couriers in London. Unlike other companies we don’t set shifts, minimum hours or delivery zones – couriers can simply log in or out when and where they choose. This is why we’ve seen hundreds of new couriers sign up in the last week alone.
As UberEATS grows couriers are busier than ever. In fact so far this week couriers delivering lunch and dinner have made over 10% more an hour than they did in the same period last week. Our office is open and our team is always available to chat to couriers.”
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