Deliveroo rider

Controversial Union Recognition Deal at Deliveroo

GMB and Deliveroo have agreed a union recognition deal to represent Deliveroo’s 90k UK self-employed riders that work for the food delivery app.  This means that GMB members “will have rights to collective bargaining on pay”, a condition which was excluded from the GMB’s deal with Uber last year.  However, other key aspects of collective bargaining, over conditions of work such as algorithmic management, safety and access to benefits, are only subject to “consultation rights” under this deal.

The agreement recognises that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, following a series of court judgements which have confirmed this status.  However this is going to be problematic for any Deliveroo riders wishing to contest their employment status, which they could decide to do as the court decision was not an employment tribunal case.  Also, most courts across Europe have found that food delivery riders are employees.

Will Shu, Deliveroo founder and CEO, said, “We are delighted to partner with the GMB in this first-of-its-kind voluntary agreement, giving self-employed riders flexibility, guaranteed earnings, representation and benefits. Deliveroo has long called for riders to have both flexibility and security and this innovative agreement is exactly the sort of partnership the on-demand economy should be based on.”

This voluntary partnership is based on a shared commitment between the GMB and Deliveroo to rider welfare and wellbeing. Together, we are focusing on what matters most to riders,” Shu added.

However, the IWGB union, described the deal as “cynical” and said GMB “presents no threat” to Deliveroo’s “exploitative business practices”.  The union said: “The IWGB has been organising Deliveroo couriers since 2016, taking action, winning changes, and building a powerful union led by couriers.  Under this pressure, Deliveroo has cynically made this backroom deal with a union that has no record of organising couriers and presents no threat to its exploitative business practices, while a case is pending in the Supreme Court on the same subject.

IWGB’s statement continued: “Deliveroo is seeking to undermine the efforts of couriers pursuing their rights through the courts and fighting to improve their working lives. The IWGB has always been the couriers’ union of choice and will continue to organise and take action to win better working conditions for Deliveroo couriers across the UK.”

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