Colchester Just Eat and Deliveroo drivers go on strike

Colchester, UK delivery drivers for Just Eat and Deliveroo have walked out on strike over pay and conditions.

At least 70 drivers refused to deliver food for restaurant and takeaway outlets in the city, and 30 picketed the local McDonald’s fast food restaurant.

Riders say that the fees they receive have not risen to match inflation or the real world cost increases incurred in delivering food for Just Eat and Deliveroo. These include fuel prices that have risen significantly above inflation in recent months.

One of the drivers said he had worked for seven days straight and earned £114 for his efforts. He has been put into a ‘heat or eat’ situation at home. Jimmy Zane said, “You don’t get enough money and are expected to live off the bare minimum, so you cannot live properly and have to watch everything you spend.

“Everything is going up but the amount they are paying us is decreasing and they are hiring more people so it is becoming oversaturated and there are not enough jobs.

“We wanted to send them a message – we are not asking to become rich but being worked like a machine is not realistic.”

The Just Eat and Deliveroo drivers are demanding a minimum rate equivalent to £15 an hour.

A spokeswoman for Just Eat has now said: “We take any concerns raised by our couriers seriously and will continue to engage constructively with them. 

“Our delivery payment model has been designed to give couriers the flexibility to deliver when they choose. 

“We continue to offer a competitive base rate to self-employed couriers and pay is reviewed regularly. Just Eat is not currently on-boarding couriers in Colchester.”

In their drive to cut costs and to stop haemorrhaging investment money, Just Eat and Deliveroo amongst other players are trying to squeeze drivers’ rates and conditions. They lobby against employment laws and in do their best to minimise costs to try to show they are viable businesses on their balance sheets. No such business worldwide has achieved profitability since they came on the scene and in their behaviour toward those who ultimately generate the value of the business, this is a sure sign that few will achieve profitability in the near term.

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