Deliveroo drivers and riders biked in their hundreds through London today (Wednesday, April 7) on a strike for fairer pay and working conditions.

The riders are represented by the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) trade union, who helped stage the walkout, and are demanding workers rights including holiday and sick pay, safety guarantees and "an end to poverty pay" from Deliveroo.

The strike was called after a recent investigation led by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) found that Deliveroo riders and drivers earn as little as £2 per hour while working, far below the national minimum wage (£8.91 for over 23s and £8.36 for 21 and 22-year-olds).

The company have also faced widespread criticism for not guaranteeing their workers rights afforded to everyone in employment including holiday, sick pay and some safety guarantees.

Greg Howard, Deliveroo rider and chair, Couriers and Logistics Branch (IWGB) said in a statement posted to the IWGB website:

"I’m going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other riders struggling to get by and support families on Deliveroo poverty pay.

"I’ve seen conditions decline for years and then working through lockdown I contracted Covid-19 and got very little support from Deliveroo.

"After the pandemic more people than ever understand this exploitation is no way to treat anyone, let alone key workers. The turning of the tide is clear. It’s time for rights for riders."

The strike was also observed by riders in other cities including Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton.

It received the backing of a number of prominent Labour MPs including former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East), Zara Sultana (Coventry South) and Navendu Mishra (Stockport).

Deliveroo for their part insisted that most of their drivers were satisfied at work and that IWGB "did not represent" them.

A spokesperson for the company told Newsquest:

"This small self appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour.

"Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89% of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority.

"We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week.

"Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50 million community fund."

A recent Supreme Court ruling concerning one of Deliveroo's main rivals, Uber Eats, deemed that their drivers were not "self-employed" as the company argued by employees, and therefore deserved the associated workers rights including sick and holiday pay, and the right not to work in unsafe conditions.