Cycle couriers take on the big boys in battle for living wage

kingscrosstraffic1002aToxic. That’s the word bicycle courier Maggie Dewhurst uses to describe the state of affairs which gives her all the obligations of an employee but none of the rights.

Dewhurst works for courier firm CitySprint as an independent contractor but her working day sounds more like the life of any regular wage slave.

She works from 9.30am to 6.30pm four days a week. She radios to her controller, who tells her where to go to collect and deliver parcels. She has to wear a uniform and an ID tag. If she can’t turn up for any reason, she has to let them know. She does pretty well but isn’t entitled to the living wage. And if she has an accident — taking one too many chances ducking in and out of the London traffic — she can forget about sick pay. She’s on her own.