On Friday 27th November, the Couriers and Logistics Branch of the IWGB Union led London’s monthly Critical Mass ride to the front doors of CitySprint’s HQ as part of an ongoing campaign to raise the rates for London’s many couriers. An army of several hundred cyclists, couriers and commuters alike, descended on the company’s head office on Friday evening despite icy temperatures and pouring rain to remind CitySprint that this campaign will not cease until changes are made. Against the backdrop of the main loading bay and to the sound of multiple blaring bike soundsystems, leaflets were handed out, petitions were signed and flags and banners were raised; Scrutton St was a roadblock.
Traditionally Critical Mass rides act to protest and raise awareness of the dangerous London roads that don’t sufficiently cater for the safety of the city’s growing number of cyclists. Discussing the campaign with the participants of the ride, it became swiftly apparent that people were shocked and disgusted to discover couriers at CitySprint were being paid such low rates despite the risks and precarious nature of their job. They simply could not believe that some of the couriers leading the ride had been out among the traffic and in the wintry weather all day and had just scraped the minimum wage. As such, the sense of solidarity from the wider cycling community was second to none, and the protest was loud and vivid as could be.
Having seen the positive impact these protests make at CitySprint, the union vows to keep mounting the pressure. The campaign has already seen CitySprint scrap the minimum docket rate – an flat, exploitative £1.25 rate, regardless of distance. CitySprint have also made a huge reduction in weekly radio rental fees which has made couriers instantly better off. But, until the equivalent of the London Living Wage of £9.40/hr plus reasonable costs, is being paid to their working couriers, the protesting will continue. Couriers of the IWGB Union are hosting yet another protest, the second in the space of a month, at the CitySprint offices on Scrutton St at 8am on December 16th.
Watch the latest campaign video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pnwWwxfNX0
Contact the Couriers and Logistics Branch: firstname.lastname@example.org; 02072428044
Facebook: Couriers And Logistics Branch – Twitter: @IWGB_CLB