Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 July 2010

Harder work, longer hours... all part and parcel?

"ENOUGH IS enough" by Donna Summer and Barbara Striesand may not be the greatest song ever but the title illustrates the mindset of many a modern day worker. In the six years I worked in the parcel delivery industry, I saw my working conditions deteriorate rapidly.

Martyn Yates

I was a round driver with a ten-hour parcel target. Once you learned your round you were expected to, and could achieve, your ten-hour target in about eight hours.

However, year on year, changes to rounds have led to drivers doing more and more. The ten-hour target now takes nine hours and often far longer.

There are many reasons why. There's bigger rounds, which came in when voluntary redundancies meant we lost ten drivers from our depot. There's also 'delivery compliance', which stopped some quick methods of delivery, such as leaving a parcel over a locked back gate.

We are also taking far bigger parcels, which earn the company more money, but take more time and effort to deliver and earn the driver the same amount as a featherweight parcel. The amount we could carry was increased from 28kg to 32kg, and we are getting more of this type as they attract the premium rate.

When you're humping a 32kg television up three flights of stairs, (it's always on the top floor) your hands are stretched from holding, your back is aching from contorting and your legs are burning from carrying the load.

Recently start times were put back by up to two hours. Instead of a 6am start we have been put back to 7:30am with 8:30am for the second phase drivers.

This is proposed as helping to get more next-day delivery parcels into the depots, which again are premium rate parcels, but there could be a more sinister reason.

The company are beginning to introduce evening deliveries, which are classed from 5pm. It was first thought this would mean more drivers would be employed to cover the evening deliveries, but by knocking back the start times drivers are finishing later and the evening shift can be done without employing any extra staff.

Evening deliveries have followed AM, PM and 'avoid school run' deliveries, which give the company greater revenue but, again, these deliveries reduce the drivers' efficiency as the round has to be reorganised to suit these timed deliveries. Sometimes you will have a delivery in one area for the morning and may have to revisit the same area for an afternoon delivery.

Many drivers feel that a soon-to-be-implemented 12-hour target over a four day week, is another concealed way of getting premium evening deliveries done on the cheap. The company will save money by not paying for extra drivers to do an evening shift.

Any driver who previously worked over their ten hour target to earn a bonus, will now have to do more than their 12-hour target to earn extra money, which would be very unlikely.

Losing this bonus would mean a pay cut or drivers being tempted into working the day off they have been allocated.

These cumulative changes led me to resign from a job which I once enjoyed, but a decent pay packet is pointless when there is little, or no, time to enjoy the fruits of your labours. I am now taking home far less in my pocket but feel far better in my mind.

However, come the winter months, there will be some very weary drivers out there, enough is enough!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 21 July 2010:

Warning: NHS under attack

Socialist Party youth and students

Youth and students: organise to fight for a future

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Class struggles on the rise

Anti-cuts campaign

Stand united, fight the cuts!

Lessons of the cuts

Education workers must teach Tories a lesson

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Union recommends BT pay deal

Stop the courts closures

Wales: No to fire service cuts

Strike action wins at Tube Lines

Swansea Linamar

Cuts blogger!

Socialist Party workplace analysis

PCS: a strategy to stop the cuts

TUC refuses national demo

Unite the struggle to defend pensions

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Con-Dems propose denationalisation of the NHS

Socialist Party

The Socialist Party needs you!

More join the Socialist Party in Yorkshire

Funding the socialist fightback

International socialist news and analysis

Building new workers' parties and the tasks of socialists

Egypt: Thousands protest over brutal police killing


Harder work, longer hours... All part and parcel?

A testing 'pudding' for councillors

Keep probation services public


Home   |   The Socialist 21 July 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleNorth West: drivers and housing workers escalate strike wave

triangleVirgin train workers ballot for strike action


triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?


triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

triangleBrighton victory


triangleCapitalism v cricket

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions



German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more



Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success



Nottingham hospital black alert


East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference


West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference



Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead



Bradford protests against kids' service cuts


May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!



Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget



Save Salford nurseries!



Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved



Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation



Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!



Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018