Deliveroo workers protest as shares rise on first day of open trading | Business – About Your Online Magazine

Hundreds of Deliveroo messengers protested the treatment given to the take-out group on Wednesday, when the company marked its first day of open trading on the London stock exchange.

More than 200 Deliveroo couriers joined a demonstration in London, riding bicycles and mopeds since the Deliveroo HQ in central London, according to the strike organizers, the Independent Workers ’Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

Minor protests were held across England, including in Reading, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and York.

Ahmed, 25, one of the bicycle messengers protesting in London, said passengers wanted better wages, labor rights and security measures.

“It is outrageous that the company can go to the stock exchange at this difficult time for so many people and bring that money to itself,” he said. He said that Deliveroo took advantage of the loss of jobs elsewhere to hire thousands more passengers, affecting the earnings of those who were already working through the application.

Ahmed said he earned about £ 8 an hour, less than the statutory national minimum wage, before any cost, and Deliveroo did not take passengers’ complaints about low wages seriously.

The company claims that its passengers are self-employed, self-employed and, therefore, are not entitled to the statutory minimum wage, vacation or sickness benefit. The IWGB says that passengers should be recognized as workers – a status that includes most of these basic rights.

Kerry, 25, another cycle courier, said she worked part-time for Deliveroo for six years and earned just over £ 9 an hour on average – a little more than the legal minimum wage, but excluding her costs and the time it takes. she waited for work.

“O [stock market float] it is a time for us to be heard. We have demanded better wages for a long time. ”She said she worked in another job besides studying because“ it is impossible to earn enough with a bicycle to survive ”.

Deliveroo floated on the London Stock Exchange last week, and 70,000 small investors bought up to £ 1,000 in shares through the Deliveroo app. However, negotiations were only open to large institutions until Wednesday. The shares were sold at 390p, but lost 26% of its value on the first day after many City investors criticized the company’s structure and the treatment it gave workers, and refused to buy the shares.

David Cumming, chief investment officer at Aviva Investors, which manages £ 365 billion, was among those who chose not to invest. Just before listing on the stock exchange, he said: “Many employers can make a huge difference in the lives of workers if they guarantee hours of work or a minimum wage, and how companies behave is becoming more important.”

Several investors said the company’s refusal to make its passengers salaried employees left it vulnerable to regulatory action. Uber – which also operates Deliveroo’s rival Uber Eats – has recently been forced to make concessions to its drivers, whom he treated similarly.

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Investors also raised concerns about a stock structure that gives Deliveroo’s founder Will Shu control over the company for three years and intense competition from rivals like Just Eat Takeaway, which could make it difficult for the deficient Deliveroo to turn a profit. .

The thinktank New Financial analysis found that Deliveroo’s share price performance on the first day put it at 1,765 out of 1,775 initial public offerings on the London stock market.

On Wednesday, stocks rose for the first time, rising just over 2% to 286p. It was feared that small investors, able to trade for the first time, could dispose of their assets in an attempt to limit their losses.

Deliveroo denied having treated workers badly. The company said a survey conducted on Tuesday showed that 89% of the 8,500 pilots said they were “satisfied or very satisfied” with the company and that flexibility was their priority.

A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “This small, self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of passengers who tell us that they value the total flexibility they enjoy working with Deliveroo, in addition to the ability to earn more than £ 13 an hour . We are proud that biker satisfaction is on the rise and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo bikers every week. “

Paula Fonseca