We are Couriers Network Cymru!

We are a collaboration between the the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), a grassroots trade union, and a rapidly growing group of couriers working for Deliveroo and UberEats. The network aims to push to change the conditions of labour relations in the industry to get a better deal for its members and ultimately to enable a better service for the public.

Providing a great service for our customers (both you and those we work for) is of real importance for us and we want to improve the industry to make sure that when you expect things to ‘just work’ that we are in a position to do our part without being impacted by shoddy practices from the companies that take your money!

Read more about us here

Pressure on Uber and McDonalds gets results!

After forming in January of this year, members of the Couriers Network Cymru have been hard at work, fighting for our members to improve the conditions they work in. Fighting on two fronts, the Network focused on trying to improve waiting times for our members in McDonalds restaurants in Cardiff and also on getting improvements to the pay and conditions they receive from Uber for their work.

Waiting times at McDonalds!

One of the main issues our members have to face each day is extended waiting times in restaurants whilst they pick up your order – money that we don’t get paid for!!

Three McDonalds restaurants in Cardiff we particularly bad offfenders, with our members having to wait often in excess of 30 minutes between arriving at the restaurant to actually getting the food so they can deliver it.

30 MINUTES…. IN MCDONALDS…

Our members collectively agreed that enough was enough and sent a formal demand letter to the local restaurants and McDonalds HQ setting out our concerns and after initially this falling on deaf ears, our friends in IWW Cymru organised for their reps to go in person to discuss this issue with management and seek a solution…

IWW Reps visit McDonalds in Cardiff

Since then, we are happy to report that waiting times have improved a lot, with our members recognising that through better organisation of their staff rotas they are able to prepare the orders in good time – and we are losing less money!!

We remain vigilant however, and should standards slip we will be ready to engage with them again to make sure things remain ship-shape!

UberEATS listen to our demands!

Alongside our work to improve conditions in restaurants locally for our members, we also sent a set of demands to Uber to improve our pay, the way the App works and the safety of couriers in carrying out their normal jobs. Since both sending the demands to head office and delivering them in person to the local office, representatives of Uber Head Office have been to Cardiff twice to meet with couriers, listen to their concerns and agree to work to improve things.

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So far we are pleased to report that Uber has:

  • Added two additional ‘zones’ to the city of Cardiff, meaning that work is spread more evenly and is more reflective of demand
  • Updated its cancellation policy meaning our members have more power to cancel an order if the customer is not there to collect their order
  • Have added an additional ‘boost’ (a multiplier that is applied to an order) timeslot between 12:00 and 12:30 to ensure our members receive the right payment for orders collected at 12:00 but delivered afterwards

There are still key issues that Uber need to work on, which they have committed to improving:

  • Improvements to the App GPS routing – vital to prevent our members being directed onto dual carriageways which puts their safety at risk
  • Improvements to the order submission screen for customers so that a full address is required and we know exactly where we need to deliver food to!

Looking to the future…

The developments since we launched have been really positive, and have made a real difference to our members daily work lives.  We are only just getting started, there is so much more that needs to be done, and each day we grow bigger, stronger and more effective!!

 

 

Poor Service? Poor System!

Have you ever wondered why your delivery takes longer than expected? How about why it sometimes turns up in less than perfect condition?

Naturally we understand that it is easy to blame us when you don’t get what you expected, when you expected it or when something turns up in a poor condition.  This is understandable as you only normally interact with two parts of the chain – the one you order from and the people who deliver to you.

BUT, as couriers we know how the system should work and how sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t this means your delivery is compromised, and we want to change that!

So what actually happens?

When you order something from Deliveroo or Uber the order is sent to the restaurant along with an estimated time that couriers will arrive so it can be ready to race to you in tip-top condition.  This doesn’t always happen though…

Often couriers will turn up on time and your food won’t be ready, meaning that sometimes they are standing around for 10-15 minutes at a time waiting for the food to be cooked.

Sometimes they arrive on time and the food has been prepared too early, meaning it’s sat there getting cold – not great when it then has to be delivered to you and it is not leaving the restaurant in perfect condition!

This happens for two reasons, in some cases it is because the couriers estimated arrival time is not correctly sent to the restaurant by Deliveroo and Uber and in others it is because restaurants are not preparing food at the right time!

What this means for you:

In both cases you lose out – either your food turns up and it is less than awesome or it takes much longer to arrive than you expect.

Remember, you are paying the restaurants and Deliveroo / Uber for your food, is it too much to ask that they sort out their systems so that food is prepared and ready for when couriers arrive to deliver it to you? We don’t think so!

What this means for us:

As self-employed couriers our time is money! We don’t get paid if deliveries don’t get made and if we are waiting around for the restaurant to cook your food because Deliveroo or Uber told them the wrong info – we are losing money!!

10-15 mins may not sound long, but it only has to happen four times in a day and that is an hours lost time. How would you feel about losing an hours pay because of something you couldn’t control?

What are we doing about it?

We know which restaurants are the key culprits for this sub-standard service. We know when Deliveroo and Uber’s processes go wrong and food isn’t ready when it should be.

To fight this we are going to:

  • Contact these restaurants, try to work with them to change their ways and get us and you a better deal!
  • Pressurise Deliveroo and Uber to improve their systems and processes to make sure that restaurants can be confident that they know when couriers will arrive

The Network will begin contacting individual restaurants to seek a response to the claims and if they are unwilling to work with us to improve the situation we will publicly name and shame them so you know which restaurants to avoid!

How you can help:

Remember, these issues impact you and you deserve to get the product you paid for, when you expect it and in great condition.  Our fight is for us, but it also is your fight.

Keep an eye on our website for updates on the campaign, share our stories with your friends (so you know which places to avoid if you don’t want a sub-standard meal!) and lets change this industry for the better!

Cymru Couriers – working with the IWW

We are a group of couriers fighting for better conditions for us and a better service for you.  Our specialty is delivering goods from A to B, it’s what we do, and whilst we know what we need to change to make things better we know we need support to make that happen!

Because of this we have teamed up with the IWW Cymru (iww.org.uk/cymru) to utilise their skills, knowledge and dedicated membership to help us by:

  • Providing support for individual members of the collective in case of grievances etc. (this does require membership to the IWW though as they have costs to pay!)
  • Providing us with IT and other infrastructure support – free of charge!
  • Helping us with advice and practical support on the organising, planning and logistics of our campaigns

IWW Cymru have written about some of the reasons why they have agreed to help us out and how their Union is helping couriers across the country too. You can read more on their website here.