Deliveroo riders strike over holiday and sick pay

Deliveroo riders strike over holiday and sick pay

An estimated 400 riders were due to attend socially distanced protests organised by the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union in London, York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

They are demanding rights to holiday and sick pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an end to unpaid waiting times.

Wave Roberts, vice chair of the couriers’ branch of the IWGB, told BBC Radio 4’s Today show: “Essentially riders want more security around their pay, at least minimum wage guarantee and fees to increase dramatically. They want an end to unfair terminations, they want to know they’re protected.”

Deliveroo has dismissed the IWGB as a “small self-appointed union” that does not reflect the views of the “vast majority of riders.”

A Deliveroo rider / PA Wire

The slump from the initial offer price of 390p slashed more than £2 billion off the value of the company.

Today as unconditional trading began on the stock market the shares were up 8.75p, or just over three per cent, at 288.75p, still more than a quarter down on the launch value. It also reported today that the flotation could have gone even worse if investment bank Goldman Sachs had not spent about £75 million propping up the shares.

The Financial Times reported that the buying spree by the Wall Street giant, which acted as underwriters to the share issue, accounted for about a quarter of all the trading in Deliveroo shares during its first two days as a public company. The stock’s debut attracted unusually low levels of trading despite it being one of London’s biggest initial public offerings in a decade.

Volumes were around a third of what Deliveroo’s advisers had anticipated.  Deliveroo and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

The small rebound in the shares still left about 70,000 customers who bought shares at 390p nursing losses of £250 on a £1,000 investment. Some analysts have said the flop has damaged London’s reputation as a financial centre for tech IPOs, but others say Deliveroo is not a true tech company and point to the flotation of cyber security firm Darktrace later this month.

Bankers who worked on the deal have sought to blame market conditions and short sellers for the company’s poor trading performance.

In a letter to staff last week, Deliveroo’s chief financial officer Adam Miller blamed a “highly volatile market” for the rough reception. He assured workers that operating as a public company was not a “one-day event”. 

A spokeswoman for Deliveroo said: “Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89 per cent of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority. We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week.”

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