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8 December 2021

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Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Just Eat depot Photo: Secretlondon

Just Eat depot Photo: Secretlondon   (Click to enlarge)

Sheffield Socialist Party

On 28 November, Sheffield couriers employed by Stuart Delivery, which handles deliveries for Just Eat, took part in a motorcade through the city centre before they rallied outside the town hall, and then marched down Fargate to hold a mass picket of around 100 outside McDonalds.

These couriers, members of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB), started ongoing strike action on 6 December, initially picketing McDonald's outlets from 5pm-10pm.

They are striking because Stuart Delivery is slashing pay on most deliveries from £4.50 to £3.40, an effective pay cut of nearly 25%, as part of a new pay structure that will force couriers to work even longer to make the same money.

Despite undertaking high-risk key work through the pandemic, Stuart's couriers still live on poverty pay, are denied basic worker rights such as sick pay, and are forced to cover their own vehicle and insurance costs. With rising costs of living and fuel spikes, pay cuts will push these key workers further into poverty.

Instead of a pay cut, the IWGB union is demanding a pay rise, for a minimum of £6 per drop plus mileage and paid waiting times after ten minutes.

Bryn Atkinson-Woodcock, Stuart courier in Sheffield, says: "With the rising cost of living, and minimum wage and national living wage rising too, we should be getting a pay rise, not a pay cut. The pay at Stuart is bad as it is. Stuart advertises pay between £15 and £20 an hour online, but this is totally unrealistic. Once you take out the rising price of fuel, insurance, vehicle maintenance, and tax, we're making far below minimum wage. I work six to seven days a week, between eight and twelve hours, and it's obliterated my savings. I'm on my third car since I started working with Stuart because I'm doing 50 to 100 miles a day, and the wear and tear costs take a considerable amount of my earnings. All we're asking for is fair pay so we can pay our costs, earn a decent living, and have the time to see our families."

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In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


News

Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief


What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits


People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts


International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US


Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute


Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Review

Film review: The Harder They Fall


 

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Related links:

Sheffield:

triangleSouth Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

triangleSheffield JustEat couriers escalate dispute

triangleSheffield couriers escalate and spread action

triangleYorkshire Stagecoach strikers confidence growing

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Pay:

triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

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Minimum wage:

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triangleYouth Fight for Jobs - why we're marching on 9 October

IWGB:

triangleObituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

triangleObituary: Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

Article dated 8 December 2021

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Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

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