French Deliveroo drivers threaten to leave in pay row

Deliveroo drivers, who can use a push bike or a scooter to make deliveries, are not happy with the new contract

Deliveroo cyclists and drivers in France are threatening to leave the food delivery company after a new contract was announced this month.

Workers for the British-founded company - which delivers food directly from restaurants, and is available in France across major cities - have protested against the new contract, which will see them paid €5 per delivery in the provinces and €5,75 in Paris, instead of the €7,50 per hour (plus a tip of €2 to €4 per drop-off) that they have received up until now.

Deliveroo says this means that the workers - who are all self-employed, and can use a push bike or a scooter to make their deliveries - are likely to be paid more, with successful and prolific drivers directly remunerated for their work.

However, critics of the new contract say the workers risk being paid less under the new terms, and, during less busy periods, may receive nothing - despite needing to be on-call and ready to receive any new orders that may come through.

Protests against the new contract by Deliveroo workers were held in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon earlier this month. 

With an average of 2,2 deliveries per hour per driver, the average wage will now be just €11 gross per hour, compared to the average of €11,9 to €16,3 (including tips) that some earn under the current system, according to calculations by a workers’ union, as reported by French news source 20 Minutes.

However, Deliveroo refutes this claim, saying that the average delivery per driver is in fact upwards of 3,2 per hour, and that drivers are likely to earn more, not less.

“More than 90% of our delivery workers have already accepted this contract, and we are confident about the 10% who still remain to sign,” a statement from Deliveroo read.

But some drivers are now saying they will defect to Deliveroo competitor Foodera, which still - for the moment - pays by the hour, and claim that the new terms will encourage some workers to go too fast and take risks on the roads just to push up their delivery total. 

“Deliveroo is profiting from the poverty crisis that is affecting young people,” said Arthur Hay, secretary of the Gironde Union of Bicycle Couriers (CGT Gironde des coursiers à vélo). “They have a huge amount of people who choose to work for them, because it’s possible to [sign up] in just three clicks.”

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