Cardiff couriers protested this month to demand higher payment for their delivery drops.
There were 40 striking riders at the protest on the 4 October according to Pete Davies, an organiser with the labour union Industrial Workers of the World who helped set up Couriers Network Cymru and assisted the event.
Couriers are currently paid “a basic £2.80 per drop, meaning that they need to make three drops per hour to earn minimum wage”, Pete said. He describes this as being impossible to attain. They are now demanding £5 a drop in order to meet the minimum wage threshold.
Uber Eats riders are considered self-employed and do not follow standard minimum wage law. This means they have no guaranteed, hourly rate.
Uber Eats released a statement addressing the wage issue, saying,
“Last week couriers using our app in Cardiff took home an average of £9 per hour during mealtimes.” Adding, in response to the Cardiff protest, “…we did not see any disruption to the Uber Eats service and more couriers logged on to the app to deliver than the week before.”
Pete is accusing Uber Eats of telling “ridiculous lies” and describes their count of riders during the protest as being laughable. “We believe that there were fewer than 10 Uber Eats riders working during the strike.”
Pete said that Uber Eats failed to respond to their demands by the desired deadline of 11 October. Uber Eats maintain that their “door is always open for feedback”.
Pete made it clear “the couriers are not going to stand for it.” He added, “If they continue to exploit and mistreat their workers in the way they have then services are going to continue to be disrupted.”
Meetings between the couriers and the IWW are taking place to “decide the next steps”.