Trade unions and workers are calling for a boycott of fast food delivery firm Just Eat this Valentine’s Day, in support of couriers currently striking over a pay cut.
Sheffield couriers are on strike against delivery platform Stuart, which fulfils many Just Eat orders in the city, over a 24% cut to the base rate of pay which was put in place despite the firm upping the CEO’s pay by 1000% in 2020.
Now more than 50 days into strike action against Stuart couriers in Sheffield and across the UK, workers are calling for a Valentine’s Day boycott of Just Eat - a major partner of the delivery firm.
The last few months has seen demonstrations, pickets, boycotts and other actions in Sheffield and across the north of England in support of the couriers, who have seen their base rate of pay cut by 24%.
A spokesperson for JustEat said they are having ongoing discussions with Stuart over the dispute.
Workers have targeted select restaurants to picket, focusing on McDonald’s throughout much of the period and forcing the restaurant chain to shut branches in the city on several occasions.
Activists have recently expanded their actions to target Greggs, which has also been forced to shut down its delivery service at several restaurants over the strike.
The workers have received support from MPs, local businesses and people across the country who have donated thousands of pounds to support the couriers’ strike fund
Today, strikes will take place in Sheffield, Chesterfield, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Dewsbury, meaning customers will face issues ordering through the JustEat platform, which contracts out many of its deliveries to Stuart.
Supporters of the couriers are organising a boycott of JustEat nationally under the hashtag #NoLoveForJustEat.
Stuart has previously faced criticism for its decisions to alter the courier’s pay structure in a way which many say has seen them lose “hundreds of pounds” a month.
The delivery firm has failed to meet with IWGB members about the dispute, and was accused of trying to hold “secret talks” with non-union drivers last month in Sheffield and Blackpool.
IWGB has criticised Stuart, which is owned by the French state-owned DPD Group, for increasing the CEO’s pay by 1000% to more than £2.2m in 2020, while couriers were paid ‘poverty wages’ throughout the pandemic.
‘A fight for survival’
Earlier this month, IWGB activists protested at a DPD depot, highlighting the firms involvement in the dispute as the owner of Stuart.
DPD is itself a subsidiary of French logistics firm La Poste, which is in turn 100% owned by the French state.
Speaking to CorporateWatch, which published a dossier on Stuart last week, Alex Marshall, president of IWGB, said: “Stuart CEO Damien Bon, who used to work for Lehman Brothers, is using French taxpayers money to bankroll the exploitation of majority-BAME workers in the UK.
“Despite £2 million payouts to top execs, huge profit margins on deliveries, and £7 million sitting in the bank, couriers are being forced to work 12 hour days on poverty pay to make up for the 24% cuts handed out by Stuart.
“That’s why the couriers have been on strike for 50 days now and why the strike is still spreading, because this is a fight for survival. With the cost of living rising to crisis point, couriers cannot go on like this. We will continue to fight until these key workers are given the pay that they deserve.”
A Just Eat spokesperson told NationalWorld: "We are keen to maintain an open dialogue on issues that are important to couriers. We are working with our third party delivery partner and are having ongoing discussions with them on this matter."
A spokesperson for Stuart has yet to respond to request for comment on this article, however, they have previously told NationalWorld that they are “committed to ensuring [Stuart] is the most courier-centric platform that guarantees pay per hour that is among the highest in the sector.”
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