Staff from one of Britain’s largest parcel courier firms staged a shopping centre demonstration in Preston over claims they are being asked to sign “zero hours” contracts.
Delivery drivers from City Link, which has a depot in the city, took to the streets to protest at controversial deals which are being brought in by new parent company Better Capital. The couriers claim the contracts drastically alter their terms and conditions and allow the company to lay them off for days at a time without pay.
“In essence they are zero hours contracts which the Government has said it is investigating,” said Andy Warnock-Smith, regional organiser for the transport union RMT. “The staff have been told to either accept them or they could be out of a job.”
A small group of City Link staff gathered in Fishergate to ask for public support. Around 50 couriers and warehouse staff work for the company in Preston. They claim some could lose up to £4,000 a year under the new contracts.
Only a handful turned up for the demonstration. But one, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “There would have been more here, but everyone is scared in case we lose our jobs.”
A City Link spokesman flatly denied the company had proposed or offered zero hours contracts. “That is simply not true,” he said. “City Link remains open to talks to resolve a number of outstanding issues and is disappointed that some union members are holding demonstrations while those talks continue.
“City Link does not assert the right to send employees home if there is not enough volume.”