Investors and riders are raising concerns about the way Deliveroo Holdings Plc treats its couriers in the run up to the company’s initial public offering next week, highlighting a key issue for the start-up as gig economy workers lobby to secure more protections from the platforms that rely on them.
Aberdeen Standard Investments and Aviva Investors, two of the U.K.’s biggest asset managers, said they won’t be participating in the IPO. The investors, which manage about 830 billion pounds ($1.1 trillion) combined, said they’re concerned that the company’s treatment of its riders doesn’t align with socially responsible investing practices.
“We’re looking to invest in businesses that aren’t just profitable, but are sustainable,” Aberdeen’s head of U.K. equities Andrew Millington said. “Employee rights and engagement are an important part of that.”
Some riders agree, with hundreds of couriers expected to refuse to make deliveries when the startup begins trading next week. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain is protesting pay and conditions at Deliveroo, President Alex Marshall said by phone. “They stand to make billions while the workers have seen pay and conditions get worse,” Marshall said.