Workers at the delivery company Deliveroo went on strike Wednesday in a dispute over wages and terms.
Social distancing protests have taken place in cities like London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton.
The Self Employed Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said its members called for a living wage as well as improved labor rights and safety protections.
The union said supportive action was expected in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Spain.
I strike for my fundamental rights
The action follows recent campaigns by actors in the odd-job economy to be classified as workers and thus receive better wages and conditions.
Unions recently won a lawsuit against ride-sharing company Uber.
Alex Marshall, IWGB President and former bicycle courier, said: “Deliveroo presents a false choice between flexibility and basic rights, but the Uber decision has shown that, here and abroad, workers can have the two.
“It’s the least they deserve and what the public expects from our frontline workers.”
Greg Howard, a Deliveroo runner and an IWGB official, said: “I am going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other runners who are struggling to get by and support families with the poverty wage of Deliveroo.
“I saw conditions decline for years, then working during the lockdown I contracted Covid-19 and received very little support.
“After the pandemic, more people than ever understand that this exploitation is no way to treat anyone, let alone key workers.”
Full trading in Deliveroo shares began on Wednesday, although some investors have expressed concerns about workers’ rights.
Just yesterday we did a survey and 89% of riders said they were happy with the company and flexibility was their top priority.
Deliveroo said they surveyed 8,500 passengers on Tuesday and 89% said they were happy working for the company.
When asked what the most important factors are when working with Deliveroo, the first response was “Work when I like”, followed by “Work where I like” and “The ability to choose commands. that I accept, ”Deliveroo said.
“How much money do I make” was number five, a spokeswoman said.
She added: ‘This small, self-proclaimed union does not represent the vast majority of runners who tell us they appreciate the total flexibility they get from working with Deliveroo as well as the opportunity to earn over £ 13 an hour.
“Just yesterday we did a survey and 89% of riders said they were happy with the company and flexibility was their top priority.
“We are proud that passenger satisfaction is at an all time high and that thousands of people apply to become Deliveroo passengers every week.
“Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are starting a new consultation with Riders on how we should invest our new £ 50million Community Fund.”