It would have been lovely if this decision had happened sooner. These issues have been causing the drivers serious problems for years. The sad truth is that this won’t bring Don back, and if this had happened a few years back I might not have lost him. He was my best friend and a part of me died with him.
But it is brilliant that it’s happening now, and if these reforms can save one other poor soul who is working when they are scared of being fined or because they can’t afford to take time off, that would be amazing. Don had to put up such a fight with DPD about the £150 charges and the unfairness of the contract. We had no option because the situation was one-sided. If you didn’t agree with the clauses in the contract then you were told you couldn’t get your franchise.
If these new terms and conditions had been available to us, our lives would have been different. Holiday pay would have been amazing and maybe Don would have taken more than one week off each year, which is all he allowed himself because it was just so hard to get cover for his round. He could have had a more normal life and been like other working people. As for the sick pay, if only we could wind back the clock and he could have taken time off to get well after his diabetic collapses. Every time he collapsed, he went back to work the next day.
DPD courier who was fined for day off to see doctor dies from diabetes
I am pleased I made a stand, because of the amount of people who didn’t know this was going on for the drivers. Now, when couriers are delivering, people understand a bit better why they might seem a little impatient, because of the pressures they are under.
The drivers have had no one to support them and many have been afraid to speak out because they rely on the work. But what this shows is that if public opinion is against the way these companies operate, then we can achieve change. We have made them sit up and listen, and now they have done something about it.
It is tragic that it took Don’s death to achieve this. I hope they don’t go back on their word and that this isn’t just some sort of PR stunt. Only time will tell.