Deliveroo drivers to protest over self-employed ‘exploitation’


Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council (BWTUC) is hosting the protest demonstration from noon as part of the national TUC Heart Unions week.

The BWTUC, which will be talking to delivery workers about the benefits of being in a trade union, said: “Deliveroo young workers are exposed to what is the face of contemporary exploitation in London and will be offered union membership to fight it.”

It was reported in City AM last month that law firm Leigh Day is aiding the drivers, who are claimed to be self-employed but have to wear branded uniforms and are subject to performance reviews.

Spencer Barnshaw, secretary of BWTUC, said: “Now, more than ever, we must come together to protect our rights and promote equality in the workplace. Deliveroo drivers will be offered a chance to join a union to combat what is the face of the exploitation of young workers in contemporary London.”

Trade union membership currently makes up about 25% of the working population in the UK. However, barely 5% of trade union members in the UK are aged 16-24.

“Young workers are some of the most vulnerable, who are particularly affected by low pay, precarious contracts and over-qualification, without opportunities for training and progression.” Barnshaw said. “It is essential these young workers have a better understanding of, and are able to participate in, trade unions.

“This means that we need to get better at responding to their needs and organising in ways that benefit them. This will mean organising in different ways, using digital tools and listening to young workers’ values and aspirations. If we are unable to involve young workers, we won’t have a trade union movement in the future.”

Last year, Deliveroo drivers held protests outside the head office in Soho over plans to pay per delivery. The protests sparked when Deliveroo announced changes that would mean drivers would receive £3.75 per delivery, rather than £7 an hour plus £1 per delivery.