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WORKERS have won what they say is the first union recognition agreement in courier companies’ gig economy.
The Central Arbitration Committee declared this week that the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) must be recognised for collective bargaining at The Doctor’s Laboratory (TDL), which delivers pathology samples and blood to NHS hospitals.
In June, the IWGB successfully forced TDL to recognise five of its employees as “workers,” rather than independent contractors not entitled to a guaranteed minimum wage or holiday pay.
TDL courier and IWGB representative Alex Marshall said: “We were forced to unionise since every time we went to management with a concern we were being ignored.
“It is quite reassuring that we will now be taken more seriously and have a seat at the table to negotiate what we are rightly entitled to.”
IWGB general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “The TDL couriers have shown that organising and winning in the so-called ‘gig economy’ is possible.
“Contrary to the government’s empty platitudes about giving workers a stronger voice, the best way for gig economy workers to have a voice at work is to establish collective bargaining arrangements between their union and their employer.”
The IWGB has launched a £1 million holiday pay claim against TDL on behalf of 50 couriers.
A spokesperson for TDL said: “We look forward to developing a positive working relationship with the IWGB.
“We are unable to comment on the holiday pay claim as we have yet to receive any formal notification.”
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