BIG ISSUE NATIONAL VENDOR WEEK
LEARN MORE
Employment

Just Eat, Deliveroo and UberEats delivery drivers to walk out in Belfast

Food delivery workers from Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber will stage a six-hour walk out over pay and working conditions on March 23.

Delivery drivers are walking out to call on the firm to pay them fairly and improve working conditions. Image credit: Flickr/Shopblocks

Food delivery workers from Just Eat, Deliveroo and UberEats will stage a six-hour walk out over pay and working conditions on March 23. 

In Northern Ireland’s first gig economy workers’ strike, Belfast workers will stop working between 11am and 5pm on Wednesday, holding a protest at McDonalds on Boucher Road.

According to the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), a typical 12-hour shift will see workers earn as little as £100 before fuel and maintenance costs are deducted from their wages. Just Eat has recently changed its payment structure that has effectively meant a 25 per cent pay cut in delivery drivers’ take home wage, bringing their rates down to similar levels with Deliveroo and UberEats.

“Belfast’s hard pressed food delivery workers are facing desperate circumstances because of the recent round of callous pay cuts just as we are dealing with historically high fuel and maintenance costs for our delivery vehicles,” said a Belfast representative for the ADCU. 

“Workers can only make up for lost income and the effects of inflation by working cruelly longer hours or else they and their families must do without. We just want to earn a fair income and to live a dignified life like everyone else.”

A combination of pay cuts, higher fuel costs, and the ongoing cost of living crisis has also seen the costs to drivers shoot up. Fuel costs increased by 36 per cent and vehicle maintenance by 30 per cent, compared to 2021 figures. Delivery drivers are footing the bill for these costs while also seeing their base wage reduced.

Just Eat delivery drivers have been regularly striking in Sheffield since December 2021, which saw the beginning of the longest running gig economy strike in UK history, with multiple other regions now joining the strikes.

Delivery drivers are also protesting the increasing electronic surveillance and algorithmic control they’re subjected to, resulting in pay deductions and dismissals without representation or a right of appeal.

Organised by the ADCU, Belfast delivery drivers are now demanding a minimum income guarantee of at least £10 per hour plus fuel and maintenance costs covered, so that every worker has the security of an earnings floor.

By way of support for workers staging a walk out, consumers are also being asked not to place any orders with the three food apps during the strike on Wednesday.

James Farrar, ADCU General Secretary, also added: “Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber extract vast profits from the local community while impoverishing workers and violating their rights. By not placing an order on Wednesday during the strike time, customers can send a powerful message that the brutal exploitation of workers for profit by international so-called ‘tech’ companies is not acceptable in Belfast. This may be the first gig economy strike in Northern Ireland, but it will certainly not be the last unless we see a rapid change in behaviour from these companies.”

National Vendor Week 2024

A celebration of people who are working their way out of poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
What the disastrous 'Willy Wonka experience' tells us about AI and its 'pollution' of bad content
Artificial Intelligence

What the disastrous 'Willy Wonka experience' tells us about AI and its 'pollution' of bad content

Over 500 employers named for 'cheating workers' out of minimum wage – but it's worse than you think
Minimum wage

Over 500 employers named for 'cheating workers' out of minimum wage – but it's worse than you think

Every single company embracing four-day working week says move has been 'positive', study finds
four-day week

Every single company embracing four-day working week says move has been 'positive', study finds

'Care sector is on its knees': How Tory crackdown on overseas care workers will fuel exploitation
Immigration

'Care sector is on its knees': How Tory crackdown on overseas care workers will fuel exploitation

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know