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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2022

Sheffield JustEat couriers escalate dispute as action spreads

Couriers on strike in Sheffield. Photo: IWGB

Couriers on strike in Sheffield. Photo: IWGB   (Click to enlarge)

Alistair Tice, Sheffield Socialist Party

In the week before Christmas, JustEat delivery couriers in Sheffield, employed by Stuart Delivery, extended their targeted strike action to hit four Greggs shops. This is in addition to the six McDonald's outlets affected since 6 December.

The couriers, with around 100 now organised in Sheffield in the IWGB union, are striking against Stuart's cut in the base rate of pay from £4.50 a delivery to £3.40.

The 18 days of strike action, estimated to have cost Stuart and McDonald's around £250,000 so far, is the longest continuous food delivery app strike in UK history.

These self-employed workers, whose employer is an app, get no basic pay, no sick pay and no holiday pay. They are fighting this pay cut by demanding a pay rise, paid waiting times after ten minutes and recognition of the IWGB.

Their action has inspired trade unionists and students in Sheffield to support their pickets, and £13,500 has been donated to the strike fund.

Before Christmas, the strikes spread to Chesterfield, Huddersfield, Sunderland, Blackpool and Liverpool. International messages of support have come from South Korea, Australia, Italy, France, Austria and the USA.

Stuart, a subsidiary of the multinational DPD Group, is clearly rattled by the action. Before Christmas, it sent every JustEat courier in the country an insulting email implying that the drivers couldn't count! And in the first week of the New Year, Stuart organised an invite-only couriers' 'focus group' at a secret location in Sheffield.

It turned out that the secret location, which was tipped off by one of the 'invited' drivers, was so secret that even the hotel manager didn't know about it, nor the two security guards Stuart employed. Consequently, the secret meeting was cancelled and the Stuart manager reportedly escaped through a back door. Another Stuart PR disaster!

After this successful protest, the couriers will resume targeted strike action.

All trade unionists and socialists should support this important struggle and try to spread it to your city or town by contacting couriers picking up deliveries from any major fast food outlets, and organising meetings and protests.

As a small independent union, the IWGB has no strike fund, so is appealing for trade union donations to sustain and spread the strike action. You can donate by BACS to:

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In The Socialist 6 January 2022:


News

Tories' cost of living squeeze - build the workers' fightback

NHS Covid staff crisis

Blair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

Tory test shortage failure

More fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways

Schools: union action needed for Covid safety


Capitalism in crisis

Britain in 2022: Build a coordinated working-class fightback


Workplace news

Strike threat forces Tesco to improve pay offer

West Mids metalworkers strike over pay

Sheffield JustEat couriers escalate dispute

Scunny scaffs enter twelfth week of strike action

S. Yorks Stagecoach workers start indefinite strike

Invergordon posties mutiny


International news

Chile's working class delivers a landslide vote against ultra-right Kast


Socialist history

New unionism - when mass workers' action changed Britain


Local elections

TUSC appeals for widest possible anti-austerity socialist unity for May elections


Campaigns news

Coventry: Private profits from hospital parking

Fighting Fund - 162% of target, 162,000 raised

Trinity Centre: Shameful eviction by Newham council


Obituary

Obituary: Kate Jones - 1953-2021


 

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Related links:

Sheffield:

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