Last night I joined Deliveroo couriers and their supporters in a Valentine’s Day picket of Wagamama in Leopold Square to highlight poor treatment of delivery drivers and riders, and to press restaurants like Wagamama to take more responsibility for exploitation of riders delivering their food. I’m deeply concerned about the way that wages and conditions are being driven down in many sectors and have previously worked to stop illegal underpayment of domiciliary care workers.
Deliveroo couriers are paid per delivery rather than per hour, and often face waiting times which have a direct impact on their pay. One courier said: “Competition for each little job is so fierce now, it’s dangerous. Say you get ‘lucky’ and manage to beat everyone else to the punch for a 30-minute job that pays £3.20. When you spend an extra 30 minutes at Wagamama waiting for the order, that leaves you earning less than half of the national minimum wage.”
When I met with their couriers last year, Deliveroo wrote to me and said that their service had helped its restaurants “generate additional revenue of £1 billion” and the company itself recently celebrated a record breaking £1 million profit from takeaways in a single week. I’m backing calls for both Deliveroo and its partner restaurants to share their success more fairly with those who create it.