Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Delivery Riders Strike and South London 'Dark Kitchens'

Notes from Below report on the recent food delivery riders strike:

'On Friday 2 February thousands of food delivery riders, demanding a pay rise, took strike action against all of the apps, in over 90 zones across London, Brighton, Liverpool, Bath and Glasgow. The strike demanded a pay increase. In 2017, Deliveroo paid a minimum £4 per delivery. Now, they pay a minimum of £3.15 to mopeds and £2.80 to bikes. That is a 40% real terms pay cut. Uber Eats have made similar changes.

This was the biggest strike yet in food delivery in the UK and it shook the management of the apps. Across many areas, riders focused locally and organised pickets to shut down dark kitchens and key restaurants...

20 riders picketed the editions kitchen in Forest Hill. When more riders arrived at the kitchen and learnt about the strike, most stopped working and joined in. Only a couple tried to pick up, and before long the manager had turned off the app. Nothing went in or out for hours. Most riders agree a pay rise won’t be won in a single strike; they’re ready for a longer campaign. A few days after the strike, deliveries seem to be paying more than they did. The rates have been calculated upwards a bit'

The Forest Hill site mentioned is in the Dulwich Business Centre, Malham Road SE23 and is one of a number of 'Deliveroo Editions' dark kitchens. Essentially these are  anonymous industrial units managed by Deliveroo where under one roof different restaurant brands use separate kitchen spaces to prepare food.  The Forest Hill/Honor Oak one makes food for Coqfighter , Zing Zing , Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Dishoom and Pho. Another one is in British Wharf, Landmann Way SE14 with food vendors including Jacob's Kitchen, Shake Shack,, Poke Shack, Remedy Kitchen, Jude's Ice Cream and Bleecker Burger. This site is known as Bermondsey 1, not far away at 145 Ormside Street, SE15 is Bermondsey 2 with Dishoom , Wing-Stop, Tao Tao Ju and Pho.

Deliveroo's kitchens have been mapped by Autonomy, and they have also researched this phenomenon noting that Deliveroo are just one of the businesses operating this model.  Foodstars, another big operator, has kitchens locally at 107 Ormside Street SE15 (off Ilderton Road) and at 81 Enid Street SE16.

With more strikes likely these places will be a focus as busy places where large numbers of delivery riders are constantly coming and going.

(below - pickets at Forest Hill Deliveroo kitchen last week, photo from Callum Cant on twitter.

Update: On Valentine's Day (14 February 2024) there was another successful strike, couriers blocked Westminster Bridge and there was a picket  - pictured below - of the Deliveroo dark kitchen on Ormside Street (picture again from Callum Cant)

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