Delivery drivers to boycott Dalston McDonald's amid parking row

Deliveroo riders from the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in the City of London,

Deliveroo riders from the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will be protesting conditions at Dalston McDonald's - Credit: PA

Delivery drivers are set to stage a motorcade outside Dalston McDonald’s this afternoon.

From 2:30pm today (November 10), workers for UberEats and Deliveroo will refuse to take orders from the fast-food chain.

Drivers organised a similar protest in September, demanding that McDonald’s open its delivery yard on Abbot Street for courier parking.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said drivers have been "forced to move to a carpark far from the restaurant with no toilets and no shelter".

The union said moped couriers waiting on Ashwin Street, who are encouraged by delivery apps to wait near the restaurant and risk account termination for repeated late deliveries, face harassment from police and civil enforcement officers on a daily basis.

IWGB organiser John, who wished not to share his surname, said: “In the past several years, food delivery app companies have transformed the landscape of work, putting thousands of couriers onto the streets.

"Yet they have not provided any kind of infrastructure to accommodate their workers, and riders have been made to bear all the responsibility for the difficulties of constantly working in public space.” 

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “While McDonald’s has access to use the area behind our restaurant, we do not own, or directly rent the land so we do not have the right to grant access for others to use it.

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"We have been working with our delivery partners, Hackney Council and the police to find a positive solution that works for residents, businesses and couriers alike.”

Hackney councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas said the local authority "fully supports" couriers seeking better conditions.

The cabinet member for community safety said: “It is not the council’s role to provide space and amenities to help often large-scale private companies get more business, but we have gone above and beyond to support the couriers themselves while we try and address the impact on the local community."

Free parking space just 200m from the area is one supportive measure offered to drivers, while the council also continues to make the case for improved facilities across the board.

Cllr Fajana-Thomas added that the growth of food delivery apps has put "big pressure on public spaces simply not designed to accommodate them", with hotspots such as Ashwin Street particularly susceptible in this respect.