Delivery couriers boycott Dalston McDonald's

A file image of a Deliveroo driver. Picture: Kevin Jones (CC BY 2.0)

Delivery couriers are boycotting McDonald's tonight, calling out parking fines and the lack of an adequate waiting zone - Credit: Archant

Food delivery couriers are boycotting Dalston McDonald's today (September 17) after a row erupted over parking. 

Couriers in the area will be rejecting all orders from Kingsland High Street's McDonald's after being declined the use of the fast food branch's Abbot Street car Park. 

The action has been organised by members of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) says the council, with support from McDonald's, are moving couriers from their current waiting zone on Ashwin Street to Bentley Road Car Park. 

The IWGB says Bentley Road Car Park has no shelter or toilet facilities. It is also further away from key collection points which could affect workers' livelihoods as courier apps assign jobs based on couriers'  proximity to a restaurant. 

Local IWGB, Alvaro R, who did not share his surname, feels ignored, adding: "All we want is be treated as key workers like we were during the lockdowns, with a good safe area near the restaurant to wait for orders."

The Bentley Road site is being used as a Covid testing centre and is frequently full. 

That is why couriers have repeatedly requested McDonald's open its delivery yard for courier parking which would reduce the noise on neighbouring Ashwin Street.

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Riders have also complained of parking fines which wipe out earnings. 

Dalston couriers first raised the issue of parking fines on Ashwin Street to the council in July.

After several meetings, including with McDonald's, riders feel their concerns were dismissed.

John Kirk, BAME officer of the Couriers and Logistic Branch of the IWGB, said: “Hackney council should be pushing the food delivery companies and restaurants, like Mcdonald's, who have massively benefited from the pandemic, to contribute to adequate infrastructure.

"Instead, they are choosing to penalise a low paid, mainly migrant, precarious workforce."

In response, a spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “While McDonald’s has access to use the area behind our restaurant, it falls outside of our demise and we do not have the right to grant access for others to use it.

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

The yard's use as a waiting zone for couriers, the spokesperson adds, could cause health and safety risks. 

Hackney Council preferred not to comment. 

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