Uber may still be in startup mode, but the company is facing larger company problems — this time, from its drivers in London.
According to a report by The Guardian, drivers for Uber’s food delivery service, UberEATS, were protesting outside of the company’s London headquarters on Friday (Aug. 26), aiming to draw attention to what they say is a move by Uber to reduce the amount it pays per delivery, which some drivers contend leaves them at risk of making less than the minimum wage. The drivers want Uber to pay the independently backed London living wage of £9.40 an hour.
The move on the part of UberEATS drivers comes after more than 100 cyclists and moped riders took to the streets to protest Deliveroo‘s move to change the pay rate for its delivery employees.
UberEATS drivers, who earned as high as £20 an hour during peak meal times when UberEATS went live in June, are now earning less than £10, even during peak times. Off peak, drivers are making £3.30 per delivery, plus a mileage payment between the restaurant where food is picked up and the drop location. The amount they earn is minus a 25 percent fee taken by UberEATS.
“Although they speak of ‘flexibility,’ the bosses at UberEATS have been cutting pay since day one. We’re telling them we need the London living wage. I’d like to ask them: Where is the freedom in poverty wages?” said Imran Siddiqui, a scooter courier for UberEATS, in the report. “We’re trying to get by, but it’s been a race to the bottom.”
In response to the complaints, Alex Czarnecki, general manager of UberEATS in London, told the paper that the company is “committed to being the best option for couriers in London. Unlike other companies, we don’t set shifts, minimum hours or delivery zones. Couriers can simply log in or out when and where they choose. This is why we’ve seen hundreds of new couriers sign up in the last week alone.”