Independent Worker’s Union of Great Britain secures victory after pay battle

Tim Lezard Europe, UK,

IWGB couriers Gophr winGophr has become the first courier company in the UK to guarantee riders the London Living Wage plus reasonable costs following a campaign by the Independent Worker’s Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

The company signed the IWGB’s ethical practice charter, pledging to pay it  workers £11.10 per hour, factoring in costs such as bicycle maintenance and sick pay, on top of the London Living Wage. The  commitment won bipartisan support, from Green Party Mayoral candidate  Sian Berry and the current London Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Maggie, a campaigner at the Couriers and Logistics Branch of the IWGB, said: “This agreement sets a unique precedent in the industry. It demonstrates that it is possible to pay couriers fair wages for the work they do and that the industry need not be based on exploitative, piecemeal pay. This is a new standard and we are hopeful that other companies follow suit.”

The move comes amid the IWGB’s on-going campaign against City Sprint, the UK’s leading same day dispatch company, that was launched earlier this year. The union is attempting to secure couriers fairer wages after the company have neglected to raise their rates of pay for over 15 years, leaving their couriers earning as little as £2.50 per delivery.

The IWGB are currently in talks with other courier companies looking to become a Living Wage accredited organisations, and sign the ethical practice charter.

Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for London Mayor, said: “This is great news and congratulations to both Gophr and its workforce, and to the campaigning by the IWGB union that put the living wage on the agenda of the courier industry.

“This important step now needs to be followed by more… campaigning and more courier companies following their lead. We have a long way to go, and many other industries to change, including care, hospitality, and many public services before we can call London a real Living Wage city.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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