‘Ethical’ van courier Packfleet denounces gig-economy while firing drivers so they are self-employed

‘Ethical’ electric van courier Packfleet is attempting to fire its 30 employed drivers and force to them to become self-employed, despite its claims that it refuses to“take advantage of the gig economy”.

Until recent days, Packfleet’s website stated: “We refuse to take advantage of gig economy workers to deliver your parcels. We fully employ all of our permanent drivers, meaning they get our full benefits packages…”

The decision to fire its drivers was announced shortly after Packfleet secured $10 million in expansion funding in March from venture capitalists, including General Catalyst, Voyager Ventures, Creandum, Entree Capital, and Founder Collective.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Packfleet’s behaviour to these drivers is disgusting. The company's ethical credentials flew straight out the window, no doubt as soon as the venture capitalists started circling and demanding ‘efficiencies’. Unite is offering our members complete support in fighting against these pernicious and hypocritical plans.”  

Consultations over the redundancies are ongoing.

Packfleet ships to hundreds of businesses across London and its clients including Hurr, Pizza Pilgrims, Field & Flower and Lay & Wheeler.

A Packfleet driver said: “After being promised security of employment and building my life around this job, the company’s announcement that it is seeking to sack all of the drivers and replace them with gig economy contracts is a kick in the teeth. This is no way to treat people.”