Workers’ rights union GMB has held what it called a ‘successful protest’ and petition after a self-employed van driver was sacked for not delivering a parcel.
The driver, who worked for courier company DX, was dismissed after he refused to deliver parcels on a Saturday to a building that GMB claimed the firm and driver knew was closed.
If the driver went ahead with the delivery and returned with undelivered parcels, he would have been fined, GMB claimed.
Speaking to What Van?, David Day, GMB regional organiser, said he had “collected a lot of signatures on our petition”, and is hopeful the driver will be reinstated in his role within a week.
As the driver in question is self-employed, he is not entitled to sick or holiday pay and is not subject to proper disciplinary procedures, Day said. “His old round has been given to someone else who was trained two weeks before so this looks like it was planned and engineered. Many drivers have witnessed the goings on.”
He claimed that fines are rife within the industry, saying that it is in the courier’s interests to fine drivers. According to Day, self-employed DX drivers are paid £160 a day, but are fined £200 for not delivering goods or missing rounds – even if their vehicles break-down while on the way to the depot.
“They [couriers] drop and pick up drivers willy-nilly because they say they are self-employed, but they should be entitled to full workers’ rights like [minicab alternative] Uber drivers.”
DX failed to provide a comment when contacted by What Van?