Four cycle couriers contracting under London-based delivery firms have teamed up with the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to launch a single Employment Tribunal against four courier companies.
The news comes after the independent contractors grew weary of missing out on the National Living Wage (NLW) and holiday benefits, due to their legal status as ‘contractors’ as opposed to ‘workers’.
The likes of CitySprint, eCourier, Excel and Addison Lee will find themselves before a tribunal next Thursday, after disgruntled contractors from in and around Britain’s capital launched proceedings against them alongside the IWGB.
“There’s a lot of couriers who don’t earn the national minimum wage. If you don’t have the right to something, your employer is under no legal obligation to give it to you. They’re not going to give it to you out of the goodness of their heart,” said CitySprint bicycle courier, Maggie Dewhurst.
“You become accustomed to the way of working, which is also part of the problem. People become quite institutionalised and think ‘oh it’s OK, it’s the easiest way. I’m just managing to survive this week, I’ll deal with next week later’. People have this hand-to-mouth existence, or they think that ‘this is the way it is’ and there’s no point fighting it.”
CitySprint, eCourier, Excel and Addison Lee will find themselves at London Central Employment Tribunal in Holborn on June 9, where the IWGB will push to combine all four cases into a single hearing.