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28 Sep 2021

UK: Ocado delivery drivers report low wages & poor working conditions under third-party partner Ryde; incl. company comments

In August 2021, drivers delivering groceries for Ocado Zoom reported they were earning less than the minimum wage, and that their income had fallen between 50% and 70% after they were hired under a new delivery partner, Ryde.

The drivers also reported being made to buy new clothes for deliveries, and that the size of groceries expected of drivers to carry had increased.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) sent an open letter to Ocado, accusing the company of abandoning a 'precarious and predominantly minority ethnic workforce' and warned that the IWGB would campaign publicly unless the company engaged in negotiations.

In September 2021, it was reported that drivers had been threatened with dismissal after revealing their working conditions. IWGB launched a campaign against Ocado in response, and the majority of Ocado Zoom workers voted to take strike action.

Workers' demands included trade union recognition, being brought in-house as workers, health and safety measures, and £16 per hour pay.

In a statement, Ocado said they had moved to end their third party supplier arrangements with their Ocado Zoom Action delivery team, and that all driver roles at Zoom Acton would be paid the London living wage and include uniforms, delivery vehicles and motor insurance.

However, according to IWGB, workers had not been contacted directly for the in-house positions, and job adverts had been posted in the depot for another third party partner.

Comments from Ryde and Ocado can be found below.