On Friday 10th of March at 6pm a mass bike ride will be held in the centre of Leeds to protest the bicycle courier company Deliveroo and their treatment of workers. Members of the Industrial Workers Of the World (IWW) union, the campaign group Plan C, Deliveroo riders and customers, and other supportive members of the public will join together for the demonstration.

The planned route starts at the Leeds office of Deliveroo before heading off around the city centre, past many of the restaurants and food outlets who use the services of the company and its many couriers.

Nationally there has been a surge of interest in Deliveroo in recent weeks. In particular, alarm has been raised by the use of ‘self employed couriers’ rather than employees or workers, and the implications this has for workers’ rights and conditions.

On the 22nd of February the Managing Director of Deliveroo UK and Ireland was called before a Commons Select Committee and questioned about the company and their exploitation of the gig economy. MPs from across the political spectrum have registered concern at such a large-scale employment of riders who have no insurance, sick pay, holiday, maternity benefits, or the security of a contract.

Plan C and the IWW issued the following joint statement:

“Here in Leeds riders were concerned about proposed changes to their working conditions and began to meet together to discuss how things could be improved. Management infiltrated a private chat on social media. This led to the sacking or severe restricting of hours of seven workers who were identified as union members, one of whom has since been reinstated with the help of the IWW. Six others are still in need of support.

“This ride is for them, and for all those affected locally by the so called ‘gig economy’. We want our couriers to be offered proper worker recognition including secure contracts, safe and fair working conditions along with better communication with the management of Deliveroo.

“We also want a freeze on recruitment to allow the established riders enough available hours to make a fair living. We also want companies like Deliveroo to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden like other Leeds business do instead of exploiting the system set up for the genuinely self-employed.”

All are welcome to join the protest. Protestors will gather at 6pm at City Square, opposite the train station. More info can be found here