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Daily Record
Daily Record
Sophie Halle-Richards & Lewis Moynihan

Evri couriers claim that they are 'treated like slaves' and 'get paid 60p per parcel' by delivery firm

A number of Evri couriers have come forward claiming that they are treated like slaves and get paid '60p per parcel' by the delivery firm. Workers for the delivery giant have opened the lid on the work environment at the organisation.

One employee, who works in Manchester, has revealed a tale of low pay, harsh working conditions and poor morale among his colleagues. Recently at a depot in south Manchester, tensions became so bad that some drivers were involved in a stand-off with bosses.

They said they “grafted hard” over Christmas to help clear a huge backlog, but when changes to their routes were implemented, it tipped them over the edge. Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Craig, which isn’t his real name, claims drivers are being forced to work harder and more hours for less pay and are in danger of having their rounds cut.

However, Evri denied these claims, insisting all their couriers earn in excess of the minimum wage, which includes time for collection and re-delivery. Craig also says he feels that he has to work six days a week otherwise he will lose his round with the firm.

Once again, Evri countered this by saying drivers are able to choose how many parcels they deliver and in what time frame. Craig says his experience of the job has got “progressively worse” and claims the first few hours of his shift are spent “exposed to the elements” as he loads vans with no shelter.

Evri have come under fire by their employees (Lancs Live)

Evri says couriers have access to rain shelters, but Craig and other drivers claim this isn’t the case. He gets to the depot around 8.15am, but he says often the deliveries don’t arrive until 9.30am or later.

Craig said: “By the time you’ve sorted the parcels you’ve been there for two hours without getting paid, getting absolutely soaked if it’s raining or standing in the boiling sunshine. The other week it was snowing and the parcels all got wet.

“As soon as the customer came to the door the bottom just fell out and it’s just embarrassing and makes us look bad. Luckily I have quite a good thing going where I deliver and people have my number so I can let them know updates, but you’ll always get someone who will make it difficult.

“Some people will refuse to leave the shed open or things like that. They want it in their hands, but then they are never in.”

Another driver, who has worked for Evri for several years, says it’s the “worst job he’s ever had”, but claims he’s found it impossible to find work elsewhere. The courier says he “works hard for not a lot of money”.

He said: “Everyone is always just thinking ‘oh my parcel is late’, but it’s not that simple. We have to manually load our car and then walk around the houses.

“The pay is awful. We have to stand in the rain and cold for 40 minutes every morning sorting the parcels without getting paid.

“It’s the worst job I’ve ever done in my life, but there is nothing else out there for us. I earn about £800 a month, but that’s before petrol and my phone bill and all the other bills I have to pay.

"Sometimes it feels like we are slaves.”

Another courier added: “They advertise it as a job to suit your lifestyle, but you end up just doing what suits them. If you are young and you have lots of bills to pay you’d have to work very long hours to earn enough.”

A spokesperson for Evri said: “We are unable to respond to anonymous allegations about specific disputes or even verify that these individuals work for Evri without their details. However, we can confirm that as our couriers are self-employed, they are able to choose the number of parcels they deliver and the time frame they do it.

“If couriers are unable to do their round for any reason we have cover couriers in place and over the Christmas period we added another 5,000 to offer support. All our couriers earn in excess of the minimum wage after expenses such as fuel costs (the average is over £15 an hour) and this includes time for collection and redelivery.

"This is independently audited by the GMB Union.”

Couriers at the south Manchester depot, who allege that they normally deliver on average over 150 parcels a day, say in the last few days they’ve arrived to find just a few dozen parcels allocated to them. They claim that this means that they will earn less than £20 a round, which they won’t be able to survive on.

This change sparked chaotic scenes outside the unit in Wythenshawe last week, as a group of angry couriers refused to pick up parcels as they demanded answers over what was happening. In response to the recent dispute in Wythenshawe, a spokesperson for the firm added: “We are in discussions with a small number of couriers at one of our local delivery units who are unhappy with some changes to delivery rounds we have implemented.”

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