Deliveroo de-prioritising cyclist deliveries

Hot food delivery company Deliveroo is to prioritise delivery personnel who use motorbike riders and cars over cyclists it claims, to ‘improve business efficiencies’.

Deliveroo claims that this is because cyclists aren’t happy to deliver food over longer distances in the UK. “Deliveroo is on a mission to ensure that everyone has access to amazing meals, delivered. To achieve this in certain areas we need to ensure we have the right fleet mix to match the growth in customer demand,” said Deliveroo.

“We have made a small change to our online booking portal which will mean that as we create more work across the UK, we will have enough vehicles capable of making longer distance orders that customers want. Deliveroo isn’t saying goodbye to pedal power, quite the opposite in fact and will also continue to roll our measure such subsidised e-bike schemes.”

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union, to which many of its cyclist delivery personnel belong, has criticised the move on environmental grounds. It said that sustainable logistics must be priority and criticised Deliveroo for “choosing short-term profits to satisfy shareholders like Amazon over a greener and healthier society.”

The IWGB say that its cyclists were only given two days’ notice of the changes, which will significantly reduce their working hours. Workers using a bicycle are said to be shunted to 3pm when it comes to picking up shifts leaving barely any hours available. “If demand is low, I can be waiting for work while car drivers receive double orders,” said one Deliveroo cyclist.

The union has initiated strikes and industrial action against Deliveroo in Nottingham and Leeds and has plans to institute more in the near future. The IWGB’s actions are not new, having been fighting to get full employment rights for its members. Deliveroo’s actions may well be a way of taking a swipe at the union.

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