Blackpool's Just Eat delivery drivers go on strike for 5 days with pickets at McDonald's

Just Eat drivers have launched a 5-day strike in Blackpool - which started last night (Saturday, December 18) - with pickets planned for McDonald's and other fast-food chains in the resort.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 7:24 am

The delivery drivers work for Stuart Delivery, a sub contractor of Just Eat, and are in dispute with bosses after their pay was allegedly cut by around 25%.

The strike means Blackpool households will likely face longer waits for Just Eat deliveries tonight, with around 25 drivers gathering to picket at the resort's McDonald's instead.

The five nights of strike action has been organised by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB), who represent Britain's gig economy workers.

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The union says its couriers' pay was slashed on December 6, from £4.50 to £3.40 on most deliveries - a cut of around 25%.

Blackpool drivers voted to join the strike on Wednesday (December 15), joining workers across Britain for what the union says is the biggest gig economy strike in UK history.

You can watch footage of the striking Blackpool Just Eat drivers in our video player above.

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The union says the Blackpool Just Eat drivers voted to join the strike on Wednesday (December 15), joining workers across Britain for what it says is the biggest gig economy strike in UK history

The strikes started 13 days ago in Sheffield, where six McDonald's branches are being picketed daily by striking workers.

Since then, the strike has spread to other towns and cities, with growing numbers of striking drivers joining pickets at the fast-food giant and other popular chains.

The Blackpool strike is planned to continue each day until Wednesday (December 22).]

Union president Alex Marshall said: "With Omicron on the rise we are likely to become more dependant on these workers in the coming months.

Just Eat drivers have launched a 5-day strike in Blackpool - beginning tonight (Saturday, December 18) - with pickets planned for McDonald's and other fast-food chains in the resort

"Many of the workers have powerful stories about their experiences of working through the pandemic and how upset they are with their efforts being met with cuts rather than rewards!

"These key workers worked tirelessly 10-12 hours a day through the pandemic keeping restaurants afloat and delivering vital supplies to isolating families.

"Our couriers branch is involved in a dispute with Stuart Delivery (a sub contractor of Just Eat) after their pay was recently cut by around 25%.

"Stuart’s profits surged 30% in 2020 off the back of their hard work but instead of being rewarded, these majority-BAME couriers are faced with pay cuts that will push many further into poverty.

The strike means Blackpool households will likely face longer waits for Just Eat deliveries tonight, with around 25 drivers gathering to picket at the resort's McDonald's instead

"The strikes started 13 days ago in Sheffield and have been taking place daily. On Wednesday, Blackpool workers voted to join the strike and this started last night with pickets at several McDonalds.

"They will be out tonight and the next few nights taking action and won’t back down until the pay cut is reversed!"

What did Stuart Delivery say?

A spokesman for Stuart Delivery said: "The change to our pay model was made to ensure couriers on the Stuart platform will be paid more fairly based on the distance they travel per delivery.

"This is part of our commitment to being the best delivery platform for couriers looking for flexibility and financial stability.

"The new model has been developed so that it works for all couriers, whether they do shorter deliveries more frequently or fewer, longer trips, and will continue to guarantee pay per hour that is among the highest in the sector."

Stuart Delivery added that the figures used by the union in regards to the 25% pay reduction is "incorrect".

A spokesman explained: "The approximately 25% reduction only applied to the base rate of pay, which covers deliveries 0.5 mile and under.

"In Blackpool, only 10% of the deliveries are in the range of 0-0.5 miles which has the base rate Linear Pay. 10% is obviously not most deliveries."

What did Just Eat say about the Blackpool strikes?

A spokesman for Just Eat told the Gazette: "We are keen to maintain an open dialogue on issues that are important to couriers.

"We are working with our third party delivery partner (Stuart Delivery) and are having ongoing discussions with them and couriers on this matter."