Ocado’s rapid delivery drivers have voted to strike following reports that many of them are being paid less than £5 an hour.
According to the IWGB, the workers union representing Ocado’s Zoom drivers, a majority have now voted to launch strike action until the online grocer agrees to enter negotiations, Left Foot Forward reported.
The IWGB launched a campaign against Ocado after workers were reportedly threatened with being sacked for speaking out against the firm in August, threatening to escalate protests if the retail refused to reach a deal.
Zoom drivers, which are responsible for carrying out Ocado’s one-hour deliveries across London, are demanding trade union recognition, being brought in-house as workers, £16 an hour pay and safety protections.
“Ocado is moving to switch from the notoriously exploitative gig economy model to an equally unethical outsourcing one based on zero hours contracts,” IWGB president Alex Marshall said.
“Ocado is misleading the public whilst continuing to exploit these key worker heroes. We are ready to fight until they get the pay, conditions and stability they deserve.”
It comes after a damning report from The Observer detailed how Zoom drivers are often forced to claim benefits because they do not “earn enough to survive on”.
While Ocado hires delivery drivers directly for its core online grocery service, it uses third-party companies to employ its Zoom delivery drivers, a move which has reportedly seen their wages drop between 50 and 70 per cent since June.
Last week Ocado issued a statement saying that it was “moving into the final stages of recruiting our Ocado Zoom Acton delivery team and ending our current third party supplier arrangements.”
“As part of this process, all drivers currently working for our third party suppliers are being offered the opportunity to work directly for Ocado,” it added.
“All driver roles at Zoom Acton pay the London Living Wage by the hour and include uniforms, delivery vehicles and motor insurance. Contracts can be adapted for the flexibility people need from full time to fully flexible.”
Despite this, the IWGB says no delivery drivers have been contacted directly to be offered in-house positions while physical job adverts were posted at the depot for another third-party partner called Job and Talent.