Deliveroo riders go on strike in Belgium and Netherlands
Deliveroo cyclists went on strike in Belgium and the Netherlands on Saturday, refusing delivery requests and asking restaurants to disconnect the popular takeaway app.
The couriers downed tools in five Belgian cities, including Brussels and Antwerp, as well as in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, after Deliveroo refused to delay its decision to treat all workers as self-employed from 1 February.
The strikes will continue every Saturday, said the CNE trade union, which accused Deliveroo of only taking on new workers if they agreed to be self-employed.
“The time has come to show a united front in this struggle. The multinational cannot simply impose precarious employment status upon its workers solely under the pretext of its operating via the internet, and by taking an aloof attitude to the issue,” it added.
The strike is being led by a collective representing about 200 couriers.
A Deliveroo spokesman said: "Deliveroo is growing across Belgium because we are offering people the flexible, well-paid work we know riders want.
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"We have recently introduced an insurance package for riders and will continue to work with riders to improve our model where we can,” the spokesman, who disputed there would be industrial action in the Netherlands, said.
British Deliveroo riders went on strike in 2016, over their pay, with some saying they receive as little as £4 an hour, less than the current minimum wage.
In November last year, Deliveroo won a major legal victory in a union battle over its drivers’ employment status, in what was seen as a boost for the "gig economy".
The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that the food delivery app’s couriers are self-employed, rather than workers, dismissing a challenge from the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union.
Deliveroo had argued that if riders were classed as workers, they would lose their current flexibility, which allows them to pick up orders as they wish, and be paid by the delivery, rather than working in shifts.
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