UK Mail 1

UK Mail has come under fire by MEP for the North East region Jude Kirton-Darling over claims the business forced drivers to take a pay cut and dismissed 20 drivers who refused to sign the new contract.

In a letter to UK Mail CEO Peter Fuller last week, Kirton-Darling accused the company of “unacceptable treatment” of its workers and of “flying in the face of [its] ethical and corporate responsibility”.

The letter was prompted by a new contract UK Mail gave to its self-employed drivers last month, cutting their pay per drop.

UK Mail said this was necessary for it to remain competitive after seeing significant volume increases from parent group DHL, but that its drivers stood to earn more money than they had previously.

However, union GMB argued drivers would be left with up to a £2,000 annual pay cut.

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Kirton-Darling said: “With many workers finding it hard to make ends meet on the low – or no – pay rise of recent years, I am shocked to hear your company has tried to coerce workers into signing new terms of contract that would see their pay cut by around 4% – approximately £2,000 a year.

"I am further dismayed to hear that drivers who have refused to sign the company letter have been dismissed on the spot.”

Kirton-Darling urged the firm to meet with the trade unions to resolve the dispute.

Possible industrial action


UK Mail CEO Peter Fuller

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said UK Mail has yet to respond to requests for a meeting over the issues and warned that the company could face industrial action.

“I have never known drivers to be so angry and upset at a company,” he said. “They have had enough of the appalling treatment by the company executives and depot managers. Many are talking about the possibility of taking action.”

A UK Mail spokesman said: “While we are confident that due to the increase in volumes our couriers are carrying they will continue to see their average earnings increase. A small number of drivers have opted not to renew their contracts under the new terms.”