On Tuesday 26 February, Deliveroo couriers in Manchester struck from 11 a.m. onwards, demanding better pay and other demands.
They have the same core demands as in many places across the country — £5 per delivery, paid waiting time at £10/hour, £1 per extra mile travelled – plus some extra demands. They have been supported by Manchester IWW. This was the second strike in a fortnight, following the Valentine’s day strike which was part of a nationally co¬ordinated strike, in turn inspired by a series of strikes in Bristol which had started to spread elsewhere.
Couriers in Manchester and elsewhere need to keep up strikes, build sustainable organisation locally, and further co¬ordinate nationally. Anecdotally, it seems that Bristol might have won, at least partially, more of our demands. None of these can yet be confirmed. It seems that Deliveroo might have implemented a hiring freeze, at least partially, and a slight increase in average pay per drop. This comes on top of pay “boosts” on — and for several days following — the last three strikes, a verbal guarantee of no victimisation, and claims that they are looking into various other small improvements.
None of these are big victories, and we will not be bought off by them. But it shows, as we know, that causing large costs to Deliveroo through strikes forces them to listen. We’ve been in dialogue with the aide to Marvin Rees, Bristol’s Labour Mayor, about support he can give us both in publicly pressuring Deliveroo, and in arrangements concerning motorcyclist use of loading bays. Nottingham is planning a further strike later this month, following two as part of national strikes on 1or 4 February. Both previous strikes had large turn out and caused significant impact, and won them an increase of the minimum pay per delivery up to its previous levels. Progress has been made in linking together nationally, for example with a meeting planned which will occur as this paper goes to press.
It has been called by IWGB, and will primarily involve IWGB members, but the invite has been extended to people beyond the IWGB, for example cities such as Manchester where we do not have any members. There has been some discussion of “rolling strikes”, where different cities plan to strike on different weeks. This will potentially heighten surprise, maintain a more continuous wave of strikes despite different timescales of escalation in different locations, and allow us to visit each others’ picket lines. This fed into Nottingham’s decision about timescale for their next strike. We will discuss this more in the national meeting.
We are continuing to build our strike fund, and a fundraiser at the Student Left Network national conference in Sheffield raised £123.21, taking us to over £2,000 raised altogether. In addition to this, an older IWGB couriers’ strike fund is being rehabilitated. We still need considerably more donations, as this can only properly support one strike in one city!