IWW: Raids targeting couriers are indefensible

The syndicalist union has hit out at recent Home Office focus on vulnerable casualised workers already heavily pressured by a new ‘substitution’ ploy from firms like Deliveroo. The group’s statement is below:

It has been reported in the press that the Home Office have been coordinating police raids on gig economy couriers suspected of working with false documentation.

In some cases, under the recently-added ‘substitution’ clause in the contract, account holders will rent out their accounts to other couriers. Deliveroo claims that this puts the onus on the account holder to perform background checks.

It is clear that these companies wish to benefit from access to a highly vulnerable workforce by using the ‘substitution’ system to shirk liability for illegally employing people.

We don’t condone or support any form of rent-seeking – the lowest form of capitalist profit making – and particularly condemn those who rent out their ‘right-to-work’ and make a profit at the expense of some of the most vulnerable in our society.

We stand in solidarity of all those making deliveries for Uber Eats and Deliveroo, regardless of immigration status or “right-to-work”, and condemn the police and Home Office victimisation of workers.

As Brexit looms on the horizon, it seems likely that the ‘hostile environment ‘ is going to intensify and expand to more of our fellow workers. In recent months, we have already seen police raids against other groups of workers in precarious jobs, notably sex workers.

If you witness, or hear of, police gathering to conduct raids, we encourage you to let your fellow couriers know so they can avoid the area.

An injury to one is an injury to all.


This article first appeared at the IWW news wire. https://iww.org.uk/news/iww-statement-on-home-office-courier-raids/

Pic: Neil Owen