TAKEAWAY delivery drivers working across Colchester defiantly downed tools as they went on strike in a row over wages.

Just Eat and Deliveroo workers serving households throughout the borough refused to fulfil any orders they received today.

As many as 70 fast-food delivery drivers took part in the stunt, with at least 30 activists standing firm in a protest outside McDonald’s in Cowdray Avenue.

The demonstration was held in protest over wages which the workers say have not increased in line with the rate of inflation or soaring petrol prices.

Jimmy Zane, 27, who has been employed by Just Eat for two years, was one of the campaigners calling for urgent change.


Last week he worked for five days and only earned £114, admitting he often has to refrain from using the heating in order to save money.

Mr Zane, who has lived in Colchester since he was a child, said: “You don’t get enough money and are expected to live off the bare minimum, so you cannot live properly and have to watch everything you spend.

“Everything is going up but the amount they are paying us is decreasing and they are hiring more people so it is becoming oversaturated and there are not enough jobs.

“We wanted to send them a message – we are not asking to become rich but being worked like a machine is not realistic.”

Andrei Lates, 24, who worked in construction before the coronavirus pandemic, has worked for both Just Eat and Deliveroo since just before the first lockdown.

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He added: “It used to be fantastic but now it is not great.

“Sometimes we are having to wait one hour for a £4 order so the balance between the number of drivers on a run and number of orders has to be sorted.

“We think a minimum of £15-per-hour should be made available as that would cover a minimum wage plus expenses.

“We hope we can reach some decisions that will allow us to carry on doing a good job and getting paid a decent amount for it.”

A spokeswoman for Just Eat has now said: “We take any concerns raised by our couriers seriously and will continue to engage constructively with them. 

“Our delivery payment model has been designed to give couriers the flexibility to deliver when they choose. 

“We continue to offer a competitive base rate to self-employed couriers and pay is reviewed regularly. Just Eat is not currently on-boarding couriers in Colchester."

Deliveroo did not respond to the Gazette’s request for comment.