Courier drivers leaving guns outside homes

A PBT Couriers driver left this package, with a gun inside, leaning next to the front door because no one was home. Photo: SUPPLIED.

A second gun has been left in front of a house by a courier and has revealed what one industry insider has labelled the "indentured slavery" of delivery drivers.

Last week courier company PBT came under fire after one of its drivers left a sign-for package with a gun in it outside someone's house. Another incident has been revealed and has brought to light the standards in which courier drivers must work, forcing them to leave packages unsigned for.

Most courier drivers are owner-operators and, therefore, work at a rate determined by the company for which they work, which is per delivery. A driver's pay is impacted if they do not deliver a package.

Peter Gallagher from Pro Drive, a contractor driver advocacy organisation, said the situation was worse than many imagined.

"[They're] effectively working in the form of indentured slaves. I'm afraid that's close to the truth.

"They are simply at the whim of the boss and have to do whatever is required of them.

"I doubt that there is a single company who would put forward its books on an examined basis and find that there was a living wage being paid to any single courier in this country."

Drivers had to buy their own cars and pay their own petrol, he said.

"[It] wouldn't take peeling back too many layers of the onion to see that it is actually a form of designed exploitation."

Minister for Workplace Relations Iain Lees-Galloway said the contractor system was not working.

"I don't think it is a good situation.

"There is a shared view these days that it isn't ideal and we need to find a new set of protocols."

Last week PBT general manager of couriers Brett Chatfield admonished the courier who left the gun behind.

"It doesn't look very good because it's a fairly serious incident which we would view in the light of serious misconduct from the driver."

However, today he was not available for comment. Nor was the courier company Freightways.

The First Union cannot go to bat for drivers as they are contractors. Its transport and logistics secretary Jared Abbott said collective bargaining was considered a form of price fixing for contractors and, therefore, unlawful.


5 Comments

PACKAGES

Posted on 19-07-2018 10:23 | By swt3

I agree ’By’. Who would work for $10 ph. No one. It is hard to make a dollar at any work, net alone Courier. I don’t hold it against them at all as their job can be hard to find correct addresses, etc. It is NOT their responsibility to know what is inside any package. Why should they be ridiculed for doing this.

Swt3

Posted on 17-07-2018 16:58 | By Slim Shady

They’re lucky if they end up with $10 per hour. Who do you think you’re going to get for that? Can you imagine what level of Kiwi you’d get for $10 p/h? Jeez, they’d be scraping their knuckles and grunting. No chance of even finding the right address.

No responsibility

Posted on 17-07-2018 16:19 | By swt3

I agree totally with The Caveman. I had packages sent to my home address, & made a note on the front door to ’LEAVE ALL PARCELS AT BACK DOOR’, and they still kept leaving in full view at front door. I ask you, ’can’t they read’, obviously not. I caught one driver as he was leaving, & told him in NO uncertain words to read the notice, & leave ALL parcels at back door. He couldn’t even speak English to understand what I said... go figure!! NOT good customer relations. I even phoned the company to complain & leave more instructions how to leave parcels. Who knows what are the contents of many parcels in most cases. But they should follow instructions, especially if paying for signatures.

Agree

Posted on 17-07-2018 11:50 | By overit

with the writer. It has become a hard, exhaustive job for the drivers now. Little profit and run off their feet. It used to be lucretive many years ago.

The bottom line is -

Posted on 16-07-2018 23:21 | By The Caveman

that the individual courier drivers DO NOT KNOW whats in the package that they are delivering. That said, I can say that the industry standard seems to be "hit the door bell", drop the package at the door and run"!! Thus the "signature required" cost that the sender paid is of NO value what so ever. Some - hit the door bell and run, (with the package going back to the courier base), and some - and YES I HAVE HAD MORE THAN ONE CASE - of some "signature being recorded as package signed for" and the package being dropped at the door - in FULL view from the street. Time for a clean up of the WHOLE industry. What you pay for is NOT what you get.

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