Why courier drivers who deliver for Just Eat are going on strike - Uncovered podcast

Stuart couriers gather in Sheffield to protest the new pay model (Photo: Ethan Shone)Stuart couriers gather in Sheffield to protest the new pay model (Photo: Ethan Shone)
Stuart couriers gather in Sheffield to protest the new pay model (Photo: Ethan Shone) | Ethan Shone

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Branches of McDonald’s in Sheffield had to temporarily stop taking delivery orders as courier drivers went on strike - but why are they taking this action?

Courier drivers in Sheffield are going on strike over proposed changes to their pay structure, which they say will leave them worse off.

As NationalWorld reported last week, courier drivers who work for an app called Stuart are striking over a change which will see their basic rate of pay per delivery drop by more than 25%.

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Our sister title the Sheffield Star reports that last night (6 December), hours after the strike begun, organising union Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) confirmed that McDonald’s branches in the city had stopped taking orders for delivery, and praised their striking members for making this happen.

Organisers of the strike say they are calling for no pay cuts, a minimum of £6 plus mileage per delivery, £15 per hour payment for waiting times after 10 minutes and a recruitment freeze.

This in an industry where levels of pay already often amount to less than the minimum wage, and it’s a dispute which highlights the ongoing struggle of workers in the gig economy, who deliver many of our favourite foods.

Stuart is a key supplier for Just Eat, one of the leading delivery apps in the UK, and it paid its directors around £2.2 million in 2020, up from £210,000 in 2019.

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In this episode of our Uncovered podcast, reporter Ethan Shone explains the issue in detail. We also hear from the couriers taking part in the strike action themselves.

You can listen to the podcast in full below, and subscribe on any platform, including Apple and Spotify.

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Each episode of Uncovered will reveal the journalistic work that goes into the NationalWorld team’s investigations, and highlight some important stories that have gone uncovered in the wider media.

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