UberEats and Deliveroo couriers in Glasgow have formed a new network with the help of the I.W.W union (Industrial Workers of the World), making the city the latest in the UK to see precarious workers in the gig economy organising to improve their conditions.
Inspired by the success of the Couriers Network Cymru, which was formed in January this year, the Couriers Network Scotland joins a growing group of courier-led networks that are beginning to emerge across the country as workers in the gig economy fight collectively to win better pay, rights, and health and safety.
IWW Scotland has joined forces with the new network, sharing its knowledge, skills and organising expertise to help the couriers win their demands.
Centred around “The three ‘W’s”, the network has three simple demands:
- Minimum WAGE Guarantee
The minimum wage for adults in the UK is £7.83. Most courier firms make sure their workers are classed as ‘self-employed’, in order to circumvent this. We believe that all those who work should receive at least the minimum wage per hour.
We demand a guaranteed minimum wage for all couriers.
2. Stop WASTING our Time
Much of a courier’s job is spent waiting for deliveries to be ready, or traveling to pick up a delivery. We often receive no payment for this time, which can easily add up to half the time we are working.
We demand that this ‘wasted’ time is taken into account when calculating our payment.
3. WELFARE for Couriers
Cycling, or driving, around a city is always going to be dangerous, but there are simple ways to make it safer. Courier firms should make efforts to supply workers with equipment, services and resources to make the job safer for them and other road users.
We demand free access to safety equipment (lights, high-vis jackets, helmets etc.), access to bike maintenance facilities, and support in campaigning for safer cycle lanes.
Who are the Couriers Network Scotland?
The Couriers Network Scotland is a self-organised group of couriers based in Scotland who are fighting to improve rights, conditions and welfare across the industry, challenging the exploitive working practices of the gig economy.
Supported by the grassroots trade union, the IWW, the network itself is independent and you don’t have to be a member of the IWW to take part.
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