30 June, 2015, London. Pushbike couriers employed by City Sprint will tomorrow stage a flash indoor protest at one of City Sprint’s major clients as part of their campaign to win the London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour. The day will begin with a pre-protest breakfast at the IWGB office (80 Lambs Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3LQ) at 8 a.m. after which the couriers and their supporters will head to the mystery client.
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 £2.50 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 of £6.50 per hour. 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.
The IWGB Couriers’ London Living Wage campaign has been gathering incredible momentum after a fantastic protest at City Sprint headquarters earlier this month which was covered by the BBC, Vice, and LRB blog among others. As the campaign progresses the IWGB will start targeting City Sprint’s major clients. IWGB President Jason Moyer-Lee said: “Tomorrow is our second major action in the City Sprint London Living Wage campaign. City Sprint’s options are clear. It can pay the London Living Wage now and avoid future embarrassment, or it can endure the embarrassment and pay the London Living Wage later. In either case, it will end up paying the London Living Wage.”
Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales and long-time supporter of the IWGB has come out strongly in favour of the couriers’ campaign. She had the following to say: “It is great to see previously un-unionised workers getting together and asserting their right to a living wage. With the rising tide of activism following the election, I hope we will see many more workers organizing and demanding a fair return for their labours.”
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Online version of this press release: https://iwgbunion.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/press-release1.pdf