UK: Stuart drivers protest ‘secret meetings’ with non-union couriers amid strike over pay
"Stuart couriers continue strike with backing from local businesses, after protest halts ‘secret meetings’", 11 January
Couriers are back on strike in Sheffield and Blackpool, in what is the longest-running gig economy strike in UK history, against...Stuart Delivery.
The workers are calling for a pay rise and claim a new pay structure amounts to a pay cut of around 25%, while Stuart denies this.
Last week, talks with non-union couriers in Sheffield organised by Stuart were cancelled at the last minute following a protest by IWGB couriers, who had not been invited to the meeting.
A spokesperson for Stuart told NationalWorld that the venue hosting the meeting cancelled the event before it began due to the protest, but IWGB has disputed this claim.
On 4 January, the IWGB Couriers Branch Tweeted that Stuart held “a secret meeting for chosen workers, with no union members invited”.
They wrote: “We found out, came down and asked to join the talk. And what did Stuart do?
“Cancelled the meeting and ran down the fire escape.”
A Stuart spokesperson said the meeting took place virtually later in the day and then in person a couple of days later, with a similar meeting taking place in Blackpool.
Alex Marshall, President, (IWGB), says: “The sign of a good employer is allowing workers to organise, unionise, elect workplace reps and to engage with them in order to resolve workplace issues.
“Currently Stuart Delivery is doing everything it can to avoid this which speaks volumes about the company. It’s time For Stuart to come to the table and negotiate.
There are also reports that Stuart is preparing to table an offer to drivers this week, although the firm declined to comment on this.
While the strike action was launched by couriers in Sheffield, as the pay structure has been rolled out elsewhere further strikes have taken place in towns across the North of England, including Chesterfield, Blackpool and Huddersfield...
There are also concerns that the firm, based in London, is only rolling out the new pay structure to areas outside the capital.
A Stuart representative has consistently declined to comment on claims...that the new pay structure will not be implemented in London...
A spokesperson for Stuart Delivery said: “This action by a small group of individuals, is unnecessary. Stuart’s management has met with couriers in Sheffield and Blackpool to listen to all their concerns, including pay.
“Stuart is committed to ensuring it is the most courier-centric platform that guarantees pay per hour that is among the highest in the sector.”