Ocado delivery drivers are being paid as little as £5 an hour, according to an Observer article.
The newspaper looked through staff members’ payslips and calculated that they were earning the paltry figure despite conducting essential work during the Covid lockdown.
Drivers had previously been guaranteed an hourly wage of £14. However, after the company brought in a new delivery partner, Ryde, in June, their income was cut.
Ocado and Ryde strongly refute these allegations.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which represents the drivers, told the Observer that they will be writing an open letter to Ocado calling on them to take responsibility for the workers.
“These drivers are key workers who risked their lives during the pandemic delivering vital supplies for Ocado but are now seeing their pay slashed by a company that has seen profits skyrocket,” said Alex Marshall, the union’s president.
“They should be treated as the heroes they are. Ocado needs to take responsibility and bring these workers in-house.”
A lot of people on social media were horrified at the news, with MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi describing it as “the epitome of greed”.
Bloodsuckers: Ocado drivers ‘paid less than £5 an hour’, company makes record profits, CEO collected paypacket of £58.7m, all from blood, sweat and tears of workers and their families.— Prem Sikka (@premnsikka) August 22, 2021
Prosecute the company and execs for not paying the minimum wage.https://t.co/kg8PS2RNXF
The epitome of greed!— Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP (@TanDhesi) August 21, 2021
Not giving workers a deserved decent wage, grinding them into the ground, whereby they can’t even take their kids on holiday or afford to make ends meet.
Strong action is needed against such unscrupulous employers.https://t.co/iejI0tWGoP
“I’m making on average £50 on a 10-hour shift. And we pay for our own cars, tax, fuel and insurance out of that. It works out less than £5 an hour. Ocado is treating us like dirt.” Important story by @_tomwall https://t.co/O9nXb4uCyh— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) August 22, 2021
?? IWGB vs OCADO ??— IWGB Couriers (@IWGB_CLB) August 23, 2021
8am today: The @IWGBunion President has written to @ocado to invite them to negotiations.
Now it’s time to get #ShameOnOcado going so they know we have the public’s support! pic.twitter.com/joKZDcMq0w
.@Ocado I’ve used your service for years. your drivers worked all through lockdown, helped me and presumably hundreds of thousands of other people out when we needed it. you gotta pay what’s right. but you won’t. so I guess no more ocado.— PyrionFlax (@PyrionFlax) August 22, 2021
This…while boss gets paid £59 MILLION in one year (2019) and Ocado is worth more than ever… is why I will no longer shop at @Ocado and why I will urge others not to… totally immoral #ocado https://t.co/Yw8XX998JG— Abigail Grace (@aagrace) August 22, 2021
“Significantly above the living wage”
A spokesperson from Ocado said: “All Ocado.com deliveries are made by Ocado employees, who receive significantly above the living wage. Overall, 99 per cent of all our drivers are employed by Ocado Group and we are looking for more full-time drivers for those people seeking direct employment.
“For Zoom, Ocado’s immediacy service currently operating in West London, a small proportion of deliveries are made by third-party delivery partners. Drivers who accept and fulfil orders for these partners receive above the living wage on a pro rata basis.
“It would be unacceptable to Ocado for any drivers to be paid below the living wage. We are committed to working closely with suppliers to ensure our model delivers great outcomes for everyone involved, including everyone delivering orders to Zoom customers.”
A spokesperson from Ryde said:
“As a “rider-first” last-mile delivery business, we put the welfare of our self-employed contractors at the heart of everything that we do.
“We aim to pay 20 per cent above the market average, well ahead of both minimum wage and the London living wage and over 90 per cent of Ryde drivers earn above the London living wage. Driver pay does vary depending on the acceptance and fulfillment of jobs and the average driver pay for Ryde users is currently £12 p/h.
“We are concerned by recent media reports and are investigating the specific instances, although from an initial assessment of driver data we strongly refute that drivers are being paid below minimum wage for their work with Ryde.”