FOUR BIKE MESSENGERS have lodged employment tribunal claims in an attempt to secure an increase in wages and better working conditions.
The cycle couriers, Chris Gascoigne, Demille Flanmore, Andrew Boxer and Maggie Dewhurst have launched their legal bid against Addison Lee, eCourier, Excel Group Services and CitySprint. The crowd-funded action is backed by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) who claim that the bike messengers’ employment classification as independent contractors is “bogus”.
IWGB president Dr Jason-Lee said:
A ruling for us would affect the entire cycle courier industry.
“It is a dangerous job. There is no pay for sickness or holidays and riders earn so little. One bad accident can turn your whole life upside down.”
Ms Dewhurst said: “Couriers should not suffer because some firm they work for can’t be bothered to pay them or give them normal employment rights. There should be something somewhere that provides a tiny bit of regulation.”
A spokesman for Addison Lee said:
We will robustly defend the claim.
CRITICALLY HURT BIKE MESSENGER APPEALS FOR RENT HELP / Damien Doughty (37) knows all about the precarious financial position of London’s cycle couriers after he was knocked off his bike and forced to use a crowd-funding website to raise money to pay his rent.
Doctors told Mr Doughty not to get back on his bicycle for two months while his body healed. But, he has received no sick pay and has been living off his credit card until he can return to work.
The 37 year old cycle courier – who says a female driver cut him up – suffered a lacerated liver, punctured lung, internal bleeding and a broken right hand and needed reconstructive wires fitted inside his body.
He was given a £300 grant by the London Courier Emergency Fund but turned to the internet when his monthly rent payment was due.
Mr Doughty wrote on Crowdfunder: “I certainly don’t expect any help, but if you can then please do. It will certainly help me out of a pickle.”
No arrests have been made and a spokesman for the Met Police said it was appealing for witnesses to the crash, which occurred in Victoria Grove, Stoke Newington, near to the junction with Ormsby Place at 9:15pm.