Drivers refusing orders from Dalston McDonald's in protest over parking

Dalston McDonalds protest

Delivery drivers are staging a motorcade outside Dalston McDonald’s this afternoon - November 10 - in protest of their work conditions. - Credit: Sally Patterson

Delivery drivers are refusing to take orders from the Dalston McDonald's this afternoon amid an ongoing row over parking.

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

Protester John, who would prefer to only use his first name, explained what prompted the protest at Hackney Town Hall: "The council and the apps have decided to move everyone to an inadequate parking space, a good few minutes away with no toilet or shelter facilities, and the riders do not want that - they want to stay here."

Referencing regular bike and moped thefts, John slammed the apps for failing to "do anything about it".

Couriers, who say they face harassment from police for waiting for orders on Ashwin Street, are demanding that McDonald’s open its delivery yard on Abbot Street for courier parking.

In August, drivers were told by the council and McDonald's management to wait in Bentley Road car park. However, courier Michael Nguyen says this costs money and adds time to their journey.

"We just want a space for us," he said. "Today has been perfect, I'm proud of the people who have come to support us."

Dalston McDonalds protest

Protester John says drivers want the council and McDonald's to negotiate to open a new delivery yard behind the Dalston restaurant. - Credit: Sally Patterson

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said although the company has access to use the area behind the restaurant, it cannot grant access to others to do so because it does not own or directly rent the land.

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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," they said.

Hackney Council maintains it supports the couriers' campaign for better conditions, but argues it's the company's job to facilitate those.

Dalston McDonald's protest

L-R: George Binette, Tassia Kobylinska and Cllr Richard Lufkin supporting the protesters. - Credit: Sally Patterson

“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," said Hackney's cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas.

But John - also a rep for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) - believes the local authority must play its part: "We want the council and McDonald's to negotiate to open a new delivery yard behind their restaurant, which would be perfect."

Not only would this address drivers' concerns, but John believes it would also quell complaints about noise that have been raised by residents.

Grace Adebayo, who is standing to be a councillor in the Dalston ward, said: “It is about respect. They deserve respect. They’re not asking for too much. It’s about dignity, not a salary pay rise. The employers should provide basic needs."

Ward councillor

Prospective Dalston ward councillor Grace Adebayo came out to support the drivers. - Credit: Sally Patterson

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