UK Mail

Increased parcel volumes at UK Mail have seen the carrier lower its price-per-drop for delivery drivers in order to remain competitive, angering a union.

The Deutsche Post DHL-owned company came under fire from the GMB after drivers from 55 UK Mail depots across the country claimed they had been pressured into signing a new contract, which would cut their pay by up to £2,000 a year.

At a depot in Runcorn drivers reported having been told to sign the new contract by the end of the day or face losing their jobs.

However, UK Mail disputed the claim that the new contract would cut the drivers’ pay, arguing that because drivers were delivering more parcels they stood to earn more money than before, even with a reduced payment per drop.

A spokesman for the company said: “Due to a significant increase in the number of parcels UK Mail is carrying, the earnings of self-employed drivers, who are paid per delivery stop, have gone up correspondingly over the last year and that volume is forecast to increase further in 2018.

"To be able to offer customers the competitive prices they demand, we have renegotiated our parcel delivery rate with drivers. But due to the increase in volumes carried by each courier the overall amount they can earn will on average go up without having to travel further or incur additional costs."

GMB national officer Mick Rix said: "GMB have been inundated with calls from members and other drivers at DHL/UK Mail over their draconian treatment of drivers.

“The company made healthy profits in 2016, and appear to be aping other parcel firms’ model – paying executives huge amounts while expecting workers to do more as they cut their pay.

“We are urging all drivers for DHL/UK Mail to contact GMB, we have lawyers waiting to talk to them."

UK Mail has been experiencing strong volume growth since it was bought by Deutsche Post DHL in 2016.

The business opened three new sites last year to accommodate the extra parcels, and made three senior appointments this month in light of business growth.