9 April: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is calling on ASOS to guarantee these jobs will be saved by 30 April. The IWGB wants ASOS to ensure that the drivers who currently deliver its parcels across Central London using electric vehicles, will continue their employment with ASOS’s new delivery partners, DPD and Hermes, when the contract changes hands on 1 May.
Despite having key worker status during the Covid-19 pandemic, these workers now stand to lose their livelihoods and say they don’t know how they will survive and support their families. They are entitled to but have not been offered furlough under the government’s job retention scheme.
In a clear case of corporate collusion in an attempt to circumvent the workers’ legal protections, ASOS, DPD and Hermes are refusing to retain existing drivers in a bid to drive down pay and conditions. The IWGB calculates that the move to ditch up to 70 employees and switch to DPD will save ASOS 25-50% on costs. The money will come from cutting its statutory obligations to its employees, such as sick pay, holiday pay and parental leave.
The IWGB is also demanding that Hermes and delivery giant DPD protect the existing pay and conditions the workers are entitled to retain. This demand is in line with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations which exist to protect the jobs, terms and conditions of workers when their contracts are transferred from one company to another as part of a retendering or outsourcing process.
Max Dewhurst, IWGB Vice President, says: “Even during this horrific pandemic, ASOS, DPD and Hermes are undermining the basic rights of drivers who like many key workers, clock in every day to keep the country running, at considerable risk to their health. Now more than ever, they need and deserve financial security and respect for their basic employment rights. Save jobs and stand behind the workers by boycotting ASOS from 9 to 30 April.”
Jakaria Khan, delivery driver, says: “We’re being chucked on the scrap heap. Our jobs were supposed to be safe. We were promised a transfer to DPD, but now we’re all going to be made redundant, with no hope of future employment. We are facing the abyss, mid-pandemic.”
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