Re­ac­tion from the com­pa­nies

The Herald on Sunday - - NEWS FOCUS -

GRAND CEN­TRAL HO­TEL

A spokesper­son for Grand Cen­tral said they did not ac­cept that the com­ments about the ho­tel “in any way rep­re­sent the ex­pe­ri­ence of our val­ued col­leagues. As seen across the wider hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, the ho­tel em­ploys an ap­pro­pri­ate level of per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees, on full and part-time con­tracts, sup­ple­mented by flex­i­ble team mem­bers as cus­tomer de­mand fluc­tu­ates across the year.

“This flex­i­bil­ity suits many of our col­leagues with com­mit­ments such as child­care and ed­u­ca­tion. To help with plan­ning, two-week min­i­mum staffing ro­tas are pro­duced in ad­vance where pos­si­ble; so the chances are that shifts are added rather than can­celled.

“At all times, we treat col­leagues with dig­nity and re­spect which is re­flected in our high staff ap­proval rat­ings.”

AMA­ZON

An Ama­zon spokesper­son said the com­pany “didn’t recog­nise the al­le­ga­tions as an ac­cu­rate por­trayal of ac­tiv­i­ties in our build­ings”.

It added: “Ama­zon pro­vides a safe and pos­i­tive work­place for thou­sands of peo­ple across the UK with com­pet­i­tive pay and ben­e­fits from day one. We have a fo­cus on en­sur­ing we pro­vide a great en­vi­ron­ment for all our em­ploy­ees and Ama­zon was re­cently named by LinkedIn as the sev­enth most sought-af­ter place to work in the UK and ranked first place in the US. Ama­zon also of­fers pub­lic tours of its ful­fil­ment cen­tres so cus­tomers can see first-hand what hap­pens af­ter they click ‘buy’ on Ama­zon by vis­it­ing uk.ama­zon­fc­tours.com.

“As we are grow­ing and con­stantly hir­ing more as­so­ciates, it is strongly in our in­ter­ests to re­tain peo­ple and no-one is ever dis­missed with­out good rea­son. We com­pletely sup­port as­so­ciates work­ing for us and peo­ple are al­lowed to use the toi­let when­ever needed. We also have an ex­cep­tion process so that as­so­ciates can alert us to times when they just can­not do over­time for valid per­sonal rea­sons.

“On Oc­to­ber 2, we an­nounced we are in­tro­duc­ing min­i­mum wage in­creases to £10.50 for the Lon­don area and £9.50 for the rest of the UK and rais­ing wages for ev­ery full-time, part-time, sea­sonal, and tem­po­rary UK em­ployee at Ama­zon across the UK, so 37,000 peo­ple will see higher pay for them and their fam­i­lies from Novem­ber 1. The net ef­fect of this change and the new higher cash com­pen­sa­tion is sig­nif­i­cantly more to­tal com­pen­sa­tion for em­ploy­ees, with­out any vest­ing re­quire­ments, and with more pre­dictabil­ity. Any claims that this is not the case are sim­ply not true.

“We re­spect the in­di­vid­ual rights of as­so­ciates to join a trade union. We have an open­door pol­icy that en­cour­ages as­so­ciates to bring their com­ments, ques­tions, sug­ges­tions or con­cerns di­rectly to their man­age­ment team. We firmly be­lieve this di­rect con­nec­tion is the most ef­fec­tive way to un­der­stand and re­spond to the needs of our work­force and we con­tinue to run our busi­ness as usual while re­spect­ing all le­gal re­quire­ments re­lated to trade unions.

“Ama­zon has a range of ini­tia­tives to sup­port our peo­ple if they be­come ill at home or at work in­clud­ing on-site sup­port. If some­one is sick, we will have a con­ver­sa­tion with them to un­der­stand their own in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances and take into ac­count any in­de­pen­dent med­i­cal re­ports.”

DPD

A spokesper­son said: “We don’t recog­nise this driver’s com­plaints, many of which are ei­ther out­dated or in­ac­cu­rate. We have im­ple­mented a great many changes in re­cent months to give driv­ers greater choice and flex­i­bil­ity and will con­tinue to en­sure the work­ing con­di­tions for our driv­ers are in­dus­try lead­ing.

“DPD’s Owner Driver Fran­chisees (ODFs) are part of a gen­uine self-em­ployed model that we have op­er­ated in the UK for the last 20 years. DPD’s ODF scheme has de­liv­ered huge ben­e­fits to thou­sands of driv­ers over the years. Over­all, in 2017, our fran­chise driv­ers, who com­pleted a full year, earned an av­er­age of more than £35,000 af­ter costs.

“Ear­lier this year, DPD launched its new Driver Code – not as a re­sult of the GMB’s ac­tion but fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tions with our de­pots and hun­dreds of driv­ers, which be­gan in 2015. The Driver Code is aimed at fur­ther im­prov­ing ev­ery as­pect of their work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the com­pany, from the type of con­tract they choose to the van they drive.

“The new Code has been rolled out na­tion­wide from July 2 and gives all DPD driv­ers the choice of three ways to con­tract with the com­pany; be­ing em­ployed di­rectly by DPD, be­ing a self-em­ployed Owner Driver Fran­chisee (ODF) or be­com­ing an Owner Driver Worker.

“The new Owner Driver Worker con­tract is de­signed to gen­er­ate driver earn­ings of £28,800 per an­num on av­er­age, based on a stan­dard five-day week con­tract, with no up­per cap on earn­ings. In ad­di­tion, work­ers will re­ceive 28 days paid hol­i­day, a pen­sion and sick pay.

“DPD scrapped the £150 charge for med­i­cal ap­point­ments in Fe­bru­ary and abol­ished it com­pletely in July. It has been re­placed with a clear and con­sis­tent points-based sys­tem, which in­cludes a full re­view process be­fore any points are al­lo­cated. There have not been any in­stances of ODFs hav­ing ser­vice fail­ures as a re­sult of dirty ve­hi­cles.

“DPD reg­u­larly re­views driv­ing hours and has seen no ev­i­dence to sug­gest driv­ers are work­ing longer than legally al­lowed. DPD takes any ac­cu­sa­tion of bul­ly­ing in the work­force very se­ri­ously in­deed and any spe­cific al­le­ga­tions will al­ways be in­ves­ti­gated thor­oughly by DPD.”

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