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Deliveroo shares rise 2% despite riders strike

Deliveroo shares opened slightly higher today, up 2.65% - the first day when retail investors were allowed to trade stock since its initial IPO

Hundreds of Deliveroo riders are expected to strike today for fair pay, and better working rights – as the company saw its shares rise for the first time since its market debut

The socially distanced protests, which were organised by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), are planned to take place in London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton

Its riders, who are employed within the UK’s gig economy, are “demanding” a living wage, safety protections and basic workers’ rights.

The strikes follow a report released by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which revealed Deliveroo pays some riders as little as £2 per hour. 

The insight, which was made public in March, came during the same month that Deliveroo was eying a stock flotation which valued the group at up to £8.8bn – setting it up to be one of the biggest London Market debuts in 10 years. 

At the time, the allegations proved to be damaging for the delivery service, with recognised investment firms such as Aberdeen Standard, and Aviva pulling out of the listing – wiping over £2bn off its valuation. 

Alex Marshall, president of IWGB, said: “It’s time for Deliveroo to do the right thing, recognise its riders as workers and treat them like human beings.”

Despite this, Deliveroo shares opened slightly higher today, up 2.65% – the first day when retail investors were allowed to trade stock since its initial IPO. 

While this is understood to still be 25% lower than the original IPO price, The Financial Times has reported that Goldman Sachs also recently purchased £75m of Deliveroo shares in a bid to increase the group’s IPO price .

Commenting on the strikes, a Deliveroo spokesperson told Catering Today that this “small self-appointed union” does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell the company they “value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour”. 

They said: “Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89% of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority. 

“We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high and that thousands of people are applying to be Deliveroo riders each and every week. Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50m community fund.”

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