Re: [messengers] Sub-Contractual

Date: 20 Apr 2010 03:53:07 +0200
From: bega <shawnbega@xxxxxxxxx>


when i tried to make my employee messengers wear t2 bags, (way back
when...) they revolted.

and one of my team members once refused to wear one at a cmwc, and
instead wore her own bag with the flap of the t2 pinned on the
outside.


--
Shawn "bega" Blumenfeld
http://www.dcbikeracing.com
email: bega@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
mobile phone/text: 1-202-345-1177
skype: shawn.bega
--




On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:56 PM, Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>
>
> Sub-Contractual
> London Review Blog, April 19, 2010
> By Jon Day
>
> Though classified as self-employed sub-contractors for tax purposes, most bike couriers have in practice a rather more restrictive relationship with the firms that hire them. You may not get a guaranteed income or any benefits, but if you don’t work a full week you’ll generally be out of work pretty quickly. You’re often obliged to wear some sort of uniform or carry a branded bag. The better companies take a deposit for radios and xdas (the palmtop computers on which you receive job details and record signatures) which you get back when you leave, as long as nothing’s been damaged.
>
> Last month one of London’s largest courier companies, CitySprint, informed its riders that they would have to fork out £3 a week to rent some new bags they’d ordered. A disgruntled courier leaked the memo:
> http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/citysprint.PNG
>
> The new bags are good, but at £3 a week if you’re going to work for any longer than a year or so you’d be better off buying your own. At CitySprint you’re not allowed to.
>
> The company have form for treating their riders badly. In 2007 they sacked a long-serving courier who wanted to take Christmas Eve off. The GMB got involved, but CitySprint’s solicitors, Carter-Ruck, provided a robust defence.
>
> Already squeezed by the recession, couriers are now being asked to pay extra for equipment they are obliged to use. Despite the several thousand pounds a year (and the free advertising) this will generate, CitySprint couriers will still not be considered full employees and will be denied all the benefits this would entail.
>
> According to the DirectGov website, one of the ‘basic questions’ you can ask yourself to ascertain your employment status is if as a worker ‘you provide the main items of equipment to do your work’. Whether a bag and uniform constitute the ‘main items’ necessary for couriers to do their work is debatable. But since you have to provide your own bicycle I suppose CitySprint must be in the clear, as Carter-Ruck would no doubt be pleased to confirm.
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