On December 17th, Just Eat drivers who are members of the IWGB trade union, went on strike and protested outside McDonalds in Huddersfield town centre. Socialist Alternative took part in the protest and offered the strikers our full support.
Stuart Delivery drivers who are subcontracted by Just Eat are currently set to suffer a 24% pay cut on their minimum delivery fees from £4.50 to £3.40. This comes at a time when fuel costs are rising, and the cost of living is constantly going up. These drivers have delivered food all through the pandemic and continue to put their health at risk in order to do this work.
We spoke to the delivery drivers last night. One driver (who wished to remain anonymous) told us “I am on strike because everything is getting higher in price, yet Stuart Delivery, instead of raising our pay are reducing it and making it low. We are finding it very hard; we have kids we have families, and we need to support them. Life is very tough, so we have to strike to get a pay rise.”
On being asked about the strike itself the driver told us “We started (In Huddersfield) from today at 5pm. For the time being we are sticking to McDonalds. It will be for one week and then we will evaluate it.” He hopes this will encourage Stuart Delivery to listen to their demands.
When asked if he believed this would persuade more drivers to come out on strike with them, he replied: “Yeah, until today most of the drivers didn’t know about us, but when we talked to them, they cancelled their orders and their deliveries and listened because all of them here are struggling. We have to be united.”
Spread the action
More branches of the IWGB are either out or coming out on strike. The driver we spoke to believes this could turn into a National movement. “This started in Sheffield but Is spreading to other areas such as Leicester, Huddersfield and Leeds. If they don’t listen, we will take it all around the U.K.”
“We want to follow what happened in Sheffield and get everyone to stay out on Strike. Our trade union is behind us, so we are arranging it together. We will follow the process and see what will happen next, but we will not give up at all. We’re going to fight.”
Finally, I asked how people can help the workers out on strike? He responded: “Sit with us, listen to us, Support us. That would be very greatly appreciated. Stop ordering from Just Eat, we ask all people to stop ordering from Just Eat because they are not treating us fairly. They are building up their businesses but not looking after us. We request that they do not place an order with Just Eat until they listen to us.”
The strike will run from the 17th December – 21st December (5pm – 10pm) at McDonalds in Huddersfield Town Centre, Leeds Road and Waterloo. McDonalds has been specifically targeted as it is a major client of Stuart Delivery.