The Socialist

The Socialist 10 February 2021

Tories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

The Socialist issue 1120

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York couriers call on council for protection from "fear of dismissal"

  (Click to enlarge)

Ethan Bradley, IWGB Couriers and Logistics Branch and York IWGB

Key-working couriers are currently locked in a battle against York city council in a bid to protect our income - and jobs. Gig economy riders, who have worked throughout the pandemic delivering meals, groceries and medicines, have seen incomes plunge rapidly.

We are lobbying to win city-centre access throughout the day. These areas are typically fully pedestrianised, but as local couriers' union York IWGB argues, these restrictions are not taken into account by companies - and this leaves us under constant fear of dismissal.

These gig-employers - including Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat - misclassify couriers as self-employed contractors, rather than as workers. They exploit this legal loophole to deny couriers basic rights, such as holiday pay and minimum wage entitlement.

It also allows them to sack riders with no due process, no appeal, and no right to union representation. The union's national 'Clapped and Scrapped' campaign has detailed many cases of riders being left suddenly unable to support themselves and their families and facing extreme hardship.

To justify these terminations, the companies claim that riders failed to meet delivery targets. York's rigid and inflexible restrictions - and similar restrictions elsewhere - leave the unenviable choice between risking a £50 police fine (which can currently wipe out a day's income) and risking losing livelihoods by not meeting impossibly tight targets.

Couriers have provided a lifeline throughout this crisis: to vulnerable residents, to public health, to our city's cafés and restaurants and protecting countless other jobs. The council needs to listen to our petition, and lobby and step up to protect us. And it needs to do so now.


In this issue


News

Tories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

Question mark over AstraZeneca's vaccine to protect against new Covid variant

Big Energy piles on the misery

News in brief


Racism

Black Workers' Charter: A programme to fight racism


Grenfell

Grenfell: Are we any closer to justice?


TUSC

TUSC online conference: Preparing to build a working-class force for the local elections in May

Ex-Labour socialists preparing to stand for TUSC in Devon


Workplace news

Striking British Gas workers fighting to win

PCS: Vote for rank-and-file socialist Broad Left Network candidates

Hackney schools workers to strike

York couriers call on council for protection from "fear of dismissal"

Court workers to ballot in fight for safety

NSSN meeting: Fight together against the Tories and bosses' Covid offensive


International news

Myanmar coup - For a workers-led struggle for democracy and socialism!

Turkey: Bogaziçi university students protest appointment of government loyalist as rector


Campaigns and party news

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a nurse

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a student

London fire victims lobby Tory mayoral candidate

Why you should come to Socialist Students online conference


Readers' opinion

Covid and pregnancy

Book that inspired me: God's bits of wood

Starmer ditches Labour movement tradition for cheap trick

The Socialist Inbox


 

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10 February 2021