Workers at food delivery firm Deliveroo have gone on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.
Socially distanced protests have been held in cities including London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton – with riders also striking in Scotland.
The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said its members are calling for decent pay as well as improved employment rights and safety protections.
New figures released last month exposed that nearly 40% of Aberdeen Deliveroo drivers are earning less than minimum wage and topping the list for underpaid staff in Scotland.
An investigation led by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and involving the Press and Journal, showed that of 291 sessions worked for Deliveroo, staff were doing close to half those at a rate lower than the minimum rate of pay.
In Aberdeen, around 38% of sessions worked fell below the UK national wage rate, while in Glasgow it was 29% and in Edinburgh the rate was 24%.
The combined figures for Scotland show that of thousands of hours worked for the gig economy employer, 43% of sessions fell below the UK wage rate.
The IWGB union said supportive action was also expected in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Spain.
It follows recent campaigns by those in the gig economy to be classed as workers and so receive better pay and conditions.
Unions won legal action recently against ride hailing firm Uber.
Martin Le Brech, a member of the IWGB and a part-time Deliveroo driver in Aberdeen, said: “Today is going to be the day where Deliveroo will have to recognise that there is a real force among riders for change.
“It is going to be a big demonstration that will show how big a movement we are within the rider community.
“People are uniting and unionising to show them that how they treat riders is not OK.
“We need the same safety nets as others, such as a guaranteed minimum wage, costs covered and everything that will make us better workers and able to provide a quality service.”
Deliveroo said it surveyed 8,500 riders on Tuesday and 89% said they were satisfied working for the company.
A spokeswoman for the delivery firm added: “This small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour.
“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 £50 million community fund.”