Monday, January 29, 2018

Freight and Logistics Giant Has UK Courier Subsidiary Accused of Mistreatment of Staff

Union Says Drivers Forced to Sign New Contracts at Reduced Pay Rates
Shipping News Feature
UK – Once more DHL finds itself at the centre of an industrial argument as the GMB Union accuses the DHL/UK Mail operation of the 'appalling treatment' of its employees. UK Mail was spawned from the original Business Post operation and was acquired by Deutsche Post DHL in 2016. The company specialises in courier services and parcel carriage and has contracts with blue chip operations such as M&S, House of Fraser, 02, Ebay and Argos. This is neither the first time that the German owned freight and logistics behemoth has been accused of unfair practice nor the first time a UK operated subsidiary has had a run in with the GMB.

According to the GMB all the drivers at DHL/UK Mail’s Runcorn depot were individually interviewed and instructed on Friday January 12 that they must immediately sign new contracts by the end of their shift or they would not be working by the following Monday. Similar terms were also apparently put to staff at all the company’s 50 UK depots. Stephen Boden, GMB Organiser, commented:

“The way UK Mail is treating drivers in its Runcorn depot is nothing short of appalling. Forcing self-employed drivers to take a £2,000 pay cut on pain of losing work is scandalous, the GMB calls on UK mail to drop this exploitative of action or face the consequences.”

The GMB says the new contracts equate to a £2,000 per annum pay cut for each driver. The union points out that in 2016 the company made a gross profit of £41 million, paid shareholders £5 million and directors £900,000. Mick Rix GMB National Officer, added:

"GMB has been inundated with calls from members and other drivers at DHL/UK Mail over their draconian treatment of drivers. The company made healthy profits in 2016, and appear to be aping other parcel firms’ model, paying executives huge amounts while expecting workers to do more as they cut their pay. We are urging all drivers for DHL/UKmail to contact GMB, we have lawyers waiting to talk to them."