Nicolas Maeterlinck

Ghent Deliveroo couriers to down tools on Saturday evening

Bicycle couriers that deliver meals on behalf of the delivery service Deliveroo in the East Flemish city of Ghent are to strike between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday evening. The couriers are taking the action in protest at what they say is a 35% cut in the amount Deliveroo pays them to deliver meals to homes and offices on behalf of restaurants and fast food outlets. Deliverloo expects little disruption to its service and says that those planning to strike are not representative of those that work for it as a whole. 

Since August last year the amount that Deliveroo couriers are paid per meal they deliver has fallen several times. However, since May the couriers have seen the amount they receive per delivery fall below 4 euro for the first time. The couriers are paid per delivery and want (or need) to make as many deliveries a possible in order to earn a decent wage.

The founder of the Ghent Courier Collective Jan Michels told VRT News that currently couriers working for Deliveroo earn between 10 and 12 euro/hour. This compares with between 15 and 17 euro/hour last August and is a fall in income of around 35%. Mr Michiels said that the latest pay cut was the final straw.

Furthermore, the couriers often have to wait in restaurants before orders are ready. They receive no pay for the time they are waiting. Another issue bothering the couriers is poor communication on the part of Deliveroo. Furthermore, attempts to raise issue with Deliveroo’s management are simply ignored. On Friday Mr Michiels did receive an e-mail from Deliverloo bosses saying that they “don’t wish to talk to trouble-makers”.

The company has even denied in the press that the couriers’ pay has been cut.

With all this in mind around 25 couriers have decided to down tool for one hour between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday. This is just about the busiest time of the evening.

The couriers are demanding a guaranteed minimum wage of 12 euro/hour and a return to the level of payments per delivery that was in force last summer, which would mean them earning around 15 euro/hour. It is possible that further action might be taken and that the action might spread to other cities.

Deliveroo: "The action is not representative”

In a written statement Deliverer’s Rodolph Van Duffel van Delivered said that the company is always prepared to talk to its couriers. He added that Delivered expects little if any disruption to be caused by the strike that he described as “not representative”.