GMB London – the general trade union – has slammed Yodel following its decision to force self-employed drivers to sign a new contract that keeps them at the company for 28 days or threatens no further work and contract termination.
GMB London says Yodel has avoided meetings to follow Hermes’ lead and look at giving its self-employed drivers worker status. Drivers are also expected to find holiday cover and accept changes to pay enforced by the company with just 7 days’ notice. Other concerns include verbal and physical abuse from the public towards delivery couriers.
In some cases, sub depot lock-ups are funded by the couriers and if the driver is off sick, the company does not pay them. Threats of replacement are also commonplace and a major worry for courier members that GMB has spoken to.
GMB has also expressed their concerns over health and safety at the sub depots, specifically whether they have toilet facilities, electrical certification and safe working practices.
Steve Garelick, GMB regional organiser said, “Enough is enough. Major companies such as Yodel should be taking the lead, however, it seems they would rather profit from workers who have no voice and no real way to question managers’ motives and decisions.
“Workers are also suffering the added pressures of working long and unsociable hours. Currently couriers are on a road to nowhere.”
However, a Yodel spokesperson refuted the claims made by GMB and commented, “We continue to have productive discussions with the GMB and are disappointed by the announcement from one of its regional representatives, which contains a number of inaccurate statements. Our independent courier contracts have been updated in-line with recent legislation, and the termination notice period is extended on both sides to give the operation and our independent couriers greater security. We are pleased to report that the vast majority of courier partners have already accepted and signed the new contracts.”