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11 May, 2015, London.  Pushbike couriers employed by City Sprint have this week begun a campaign to win the London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour.

City Sprint, a same-day dispatch company which has its pushbike couriers deliver packages for the likes of the Guardian and Goldman Sachs pays its workers as little as £1.25 for some deliveries.  These low rates- which haven’t risen in years-, combined with a multitude of fees and fluctuations in available work result in many pushbike couriers earning around or just above the minimum wage.  This is well below the London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour, a wage that a growing consensus of Londoners from a variety of political backgrounds recognises as the absolute minimum needed to satisfy basic needs in the capital.  “London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and we haven’t seen a pay rise in twenty years.  Most of us work nine or ten hour days on average. Sometimes I come out with less than minimum wage equivalent pay for that amount of time,” said a pushbike courier who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimization.

In December, 2014 a group of pushbike couriers decided enough was enough and joined the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), founding the Couriers and Logistics Branch.  Inspired by a series of high profile successful campaigns for improved wages and/or terms and conditions- such as at Royal Opera House and University of London- the couriers decided it was time to take the IWGB’s approach of aggressive social media publicity and direct action to the courier industry.  IWGB President Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee said: “We’ve taken on bigger companies than City Sprint before and have won.  We have a serious plan of social media publicity, videos, protests, and other forms of direct action.  The question is not if but when City Sprint will pay its workers the London Living Wage.”

City Sprint is a leading trendsetter for the worker exploitation rampant across the unregulated courier industry.  When City Sprint agrees to implement the London Living Wage it will have major effects on the rest of the industry.  City Sprint could have avoided the current campaign by responding to multiple IWGB requests for dialogue and negotiation over the past month.

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To follow the latest developments see: Facebook: Couriers and Logistics Branch;  Twitter: #CouriersLivingWage