As investors respond to Deliveroo’s sinking stock, exhausted riders deal with Deliveroo’s stock responses. In an embarrassing week for the company, an Edinburgh rider reflects on precarious work in the time of a pandemic.
I’ve been working primarily for Deliveroo since 2018, and have personally experienced at least a 40% drop in my earnings over this period. When the pandemic began last year I was working up to 12 hours per day, averaging around £6/hour. I knew I couldn’t rely on the furlough support being available quickly so I worked as much as possible in order cover basic necessities. Two of my flatmates were shielding so I was worried about catching covid and inadvertently passing the virus to one of them. This added a degree of stress to my living situation.
The statements from Will Shu imploring that Deliveroo care passionately for their workers are completely contrary to my own experience. Ultimately we are the backs on which their company is built, yet it is near impossible to communicate with management in any meaningful way. Questions and concerns are shaken off with pre-written stock responses. I feel disposable and underappreciated. From my experience speaking to my colleagues morale is low: we are tired of guessing how much we will earn each week, or the very real prospect of having our accounts closed because a customer claims their order didn’t arrive. This is a textbook case of precarious work.