The online food delivery service has sacked over 100 couriers, some based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, for ‘fraud’.
In a round of identical termination emails, Deliveroo accused the sacked courier staff of stealing food that was supposed to be delivered saying: “We’ve noticed a number of recent orders on your rider account were incorrectly marked as ‘delivered’ in your app, even though they were never dropped off at the customer.
“We have reviewed these orders to check what happened and believe that you didn’t complete these deliveries despite being paid for them.”
The IWW Couriers Network union has demanded that the staff be re-instated, highlighting the fact that the workers have been sacked without pay or any form of appeal.
Chris Fear, lead organiser of the IWW Couriers Network said: “This mass termination of couriers just days before Christmas is completely heartless. Hundreds of people across the country have lost their jobs, all receiving exactly the same template email.”
Jamie Johnson, a courier whose agreement was terminated by Deliveroo, told the IWW union he’d been left in a state of “disbelief”.
“I have been falsely accused of defrauding the company by incorrectly marking orders ‘delivered’ without completing them despite being paid for them.
“Without any form of contact or warning throughout my time as a rider or any chance to defend my position, my account has been terminated effective immediately, leaving me in financial difficulty over the festive period,” he said.
But Deliveroo stood by their decision.
A company spokesman said: “Deliveroo will always tackle fraud head on to protect our customers and the vast majority of hardworking riders.
“Anyone who falsely claims to have delivered food to customers denies people the food they have paid for and the great service they rightly expect.
“We are proud of the amazing work our riders do and will not allow this to be undermined by a tiny number of riders who have committed fraud.”