Delivery drivers have started their Valentine’s Day strike around the city to demand better pay and improved working conditions.

The action will affect four food apps including Deliveroo and Uber Eats as riders demand not to be “paid peanuts”.

Riders across the country are taking part in a nationwide strike which has already seen major fast food chains unable to take orders from delivery apps.

In Brighton, major chains including McDonald's, KFC, Popeyes, Burger King and several supermarkets were not taking any orders as dozens rode around the city in protest.


The Argus: Deliveroo, UberEats and Just East drivers parked outside fast food joints in the city in protestDeliveroo, UberEats and Just East drivers parked outside fast food joints in the city in protest (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Riders met at Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront this evening at 5pm and planned to go to the Marina, London Road, Western Road, Old Shoreham Road and then the Jubilee Clock Tower by 10pm.

Prince Richman, who delivers around the city, said: “During lockdown we were seen as key workers delivering for people, now we are treated like dogs. Nobody cares about us, we are paid less and less.

“We used to work with one app to make money, now you need two phones, three or four apps to make money.

“There are no working conditions because there is no conversation. If we are not here working in the rain and snow people aren’t going to buy their food. People wont use their app. They don’t want to talk with us, give us a pay rise or an incentive.

The Argus: Prince Richman outside the McDonald's in London RoadPrince Richman outside the McDonald's in London Road (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

“We are asking for it to be fair, we are putting down the work and long hours, I sometimes work 12 hours just to make £110.

“Now we are striking they are paying more per order. The rates go up. The money is there but they don’t want to give it.

“We chose to be self-employed but did not choose to be paid peanuts. We have to work 12 hours to earn the same as we would for eight hours before.”

Riders showed The Argus how much they would earn from certain jobs around the city.

Some orders showed workers being paid as little as £3.15 for an order from central Brighton to Moulsecoomb.

The Argus: Riders at Brighton Marina tonight protestingRiders at Brighton Marina tonight protesting (Image: Supplied)

Another order showed that a rider would be paid £4.81 for a four mile drive between Portslade to Bear Road.

They also claimed that only Just Eat pay riders when they are waiting for an order at a restaurant. Drivers said other apps do not pay this meaning riders earn no money when waiting for a restaurant to prepare an order.

Riders could be heard on their phone telling delivery driver friends to not take any orders as they were striking.

The Argus: Drivers were being offered more to take orders amid the strikeDrivers were being offered more to take orders amid the strike (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

A Just Eat spokeswoman said the company “takes the concerns of all couriers on the Just Eat network extremely seriously” but said Just Eat workers earn “significantly over the national living wage for the time they are on order”.

A Deliveroo spokeswoman said: “We value dialogue with riders, which is why we have a voluntary partnership agreement with a trade union, which includes annual discussions on pay.  

"We are pleased to also be able to offer riders free insurance, sickness cover, financial support when riders become new parents and a range of training opportunities.”

An Uber Eats spokeswoman said it offers “a flexible way for couriers to earn by using the app when and where they choose”.