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Deliveroo drivers strike in Dublin for better working conditions

A number of riders went offline from 6pm.

Image: Shutterstock/CatwalkPhotos

Updated Jan 22nd 2021, 9:44 PM

DELIVEROO DRIVERS IN Dublin have gone on strike this evening over pay and working conditions.

Some riders in the capital went offline from 6pm and took their protest to social media. 

“This is a first step we need to take if we want improvements. The struggle is starting and we count on everyone’s help,” one of the organisers said in a Facebook post.

Among Deliveroo driver concerns are working conditions, security, and delivery fees.

The group also says they’re looking to be taken seriously by gardaí when their bikes are stolen or when they’re attacked/abused.

Deliveroo launched in Ireland in 2015, and currently works with more than 1,000 self-employed riders and more than 1,800 restaurants across Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

However, as the fleet of cyclists are deemed to be self-employed individual contractors they do not get guaranteed hours and full entitlements.

In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, Deliveroo said that rider pay “is now higher than it was before the pandemic”. 

“On average, riders earn above the national minimum wage and on average earn €13 per hour at mealtimes, including any additional tips they may receive, of which they keep 100%,” a spokesperson for Deliveroo said.

“Following feedback from riders, we have introduced distance-based fees – this fee structure pays riders more for medium and long distance deliveries. The majority of fees have increased.”

Deliveroo added that the safety of their riders is an “absolute priority” and that it is planning to introduce free personal safety alarms for all riders in Ireland that they can use in an emergency. 

“We also work closely with the police and authorities to help protect riders and resolve any security issues they face, such as theft. In the case of an accident or assault, we provide market leading global insurance free of charge to all riders.” 

Fine Gael Senator Mary Seery-Kearney said tonight’s demonstration proves that the drivers are not happy with the working conditions provided by Deliveroo. 

“They are frontline workers, so I think it’s appalling that they have to take risks with their own health and safety in order to earn their few bob, which is very very hard-earned,” Seery-Kearney told TheJournal.ie

“I have huge respect for their value to our economy, huge respect for the role that they’re playing, particularly now,” she said, adding that drivers need to be moved onto a guaranteed take-home pay as “there is no reason why they couldn’t still work flexible hours, within the law, and at least be guaranteed a minimum take-home wage”.

“It is not unreasonable they would be considered as direct employees and not self-employed if we were to apply the reasoning of the uber decision made by the courts in London which found that taxi drivers were employees.”

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly tweeted her support ahead of this evening’s protest:

“More hours on the streets pedalling more and earning less – that is not right @Deliveroo_IE workers are looking for respect & decency.”

Labour’s employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock also called for solidarity with the company’s workers.

“Unfortunately, many platform workers continue to experience exploitative conditions,” she said.

“In Ireland, platforms like Deliveroo can employ their workers as self-employed persons, and therefore don’t have to assume the responsibility of their health and safety or pay PRSI.

“I am calling on Dublin Deliveroo users to avoid ordering this evening in solidarity with these workers.”

Contains reporting by Stephen McDermott.

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