The campaign for higher wages for cycle couriers run by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain has had its first major success, with eCourier agreeing a 28 percent pay raise for cycle couriers riding for the firm.
The increase will bring eCourier riders into Living Wage territory and will address some of the costs that cycle couriers currently incur in order to keep pedalling every day, including an increase in the weekly bonus cap, free uniforms, and 10p per mile compensation for costs.
This victory by the Couriers and Logistics Branch of the IWGB is the result of a long process combining social media activity, communication with clients of eCourier, and a threatened protest. Negotiations with eCourier were said to have been "difficult" at times, said the IWGB’s Cathal Sheerin.
"We will continue to campaign for better pay and conditions for cycle couriers across the UK," said Sheerin.
"Our aim is to revolutionise the entire courier industry: in March 2016, we submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal seeking to challenge the bogus ‘independent contractor’ employment classification of cycle couriers that allows the UK’s largest same-day courier firms to deprive their riders of the minimum wage."
The claim was brought against CitySprint, eCourier, Addison Lee and Excel Group Services.
"If our claim is successful, it will completely transform the working lives of cycle couriers, making them eligible for the basic rights and benefits that they are currently denied: the minimum wage, paid holidays, and protection from trade union victimisation, among others," said Sheerin.
The Couriers and Logistics Branch also recently campaigned for the UK’s biggest same-day courier firm, CitySprint, to pay its riders the London Living Wage (£9.40). The campaign achieved a 17 percent pay rise for CitySprint riders, their first pay rise in over a decade.
The IWGB is financing the Employment Tribunal action via crowd-funding.