Delivery Drivers take 55 hour strike action across Leeds

In the largest action taken by Delivery drivers in one city yet, drivers working for Deliveroo, Stuart/JustEat and UberEats took strike action from 5pm Friday 21st October til midnight Sunday 23rd October.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Over twenty picket lines were mounted across Leeds, with reports of 11 KFC’s, 9 McDonalds, 2 Burger Kings,a Wagamama and a Deliveroo dark kitchen.

A WhatsApp groups organising drivers involved in the strike had over 500 drivers involved. It was also reported at the rally that around 200 drivers had struck on Friday night in Derby as well.

The strikes follow cuts to rates per delivery paid by these companies in the recent period whilst the cost of living has been soaring. Drivers are demanding a minimum £5 for deliveries, as well as demanding an increase in mileage rates for Deliveroo and Stuart/JustEat and an increase in ‘surge’ rates at busy times on UberEats.

The picketing was followed by a rainy rally on Sunday lunchtime attended many drivers who had been picketing the previous two days. Drivers agreed to give the companies a couple of days to respond and if not then press on with organising further action across Leeds.

The impact of the strike was shown by the surge increases in rates used by the companies to encourage drivers from out of the area to break the strike. But this also shows that these platforms do have the money to pay higher rates.

I was invited to speak at the rally and urged drivers when returning to work to speak to others ahead of further action to get them involved, as well as discussing the need to link up with other workers fighting the cost of living crisis, both in the official trade union movement, but also groups of workers like taxi drivers who have held strikes recently in Leeds. This was widely supported by drivers attending.

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