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Belgium’s UberEats workers to go on strike

08:51 30/04/2024

UberEats delivery staff are going on strike on 30 April and 1 May to protest about their working conditions, the association La Maison des Livreurs has announced.

Martin Willems of ACV United Freelancers union expects “several hundred” couriers to take part in the strike actions.

“The centre of gravity is in Brussels, but there are also contacts with couriers in Ghent, Liège and Antwerp,” Willems said.

Their main demands include a pay rise of at least €2 per journey and €0.50 per kilometre travelled, as well as an end to couriers being removed from the platform without prior discussion between Uber and the courier concerned.

“Remuneration has not increased since 2019, despite inflation of at least 20%,” the collective said.

It also noted that couriers are being automatically removed from the platform due to the decision of an algorithm, “without any real opportunity to defend their point of view.”

By law, couriers have been classified as employees - rather than independent contractors - since 1 January 2023. At the end of 2023, the Brussels labour court also ruled in a Deliveroo case that couriers must be granted the same rights as other workers.

“While we wait for the public authorities to enforce the law, our demands can wait no longer,” La Maison des Livreurs said.

The association condemned “discrimination, racism and administrative harassment” which it said that couriers face alone “while the platforms that exploit them aren’t worried”.

During the strike, delivery drivers will be touring restaurant owners to ask for their solidarity. A rally is also planned for 16.30 on 1 May in Brussels, in front of Uber's head office in Belgium.

Couriers requested a consultation with Uber during the action on 1 May but did not yet receive a response, according to Willems.

Written by Helen Lyons