Union fears over risk to drivers as Yodel ends ‘van at home’ scheme in province
Courier firm Yodel has defended its plan to prevent staff in Northern Ireland taking their liveried vehicles home after work from next week.
The UK-wide independent parcel carrier, which has depots at Carrickfergus and Omagh, was slammed by the GMB over the decision which the union alleges could put drivers at risk during the cornoavirus emergency.
Peter Macklin, GMB organiser, said: “Stopping drivers taking their vans home at the end of a shift is a shocking decision, at the worst possible time.
“Many of our members live considerable distances from their respective depots – they will now either be unable to work, or force them onto over public transport system.
“Meanwhile they face an increased risk of cross contamination of Covid-19, as drivers can’t be guaranteed that they will have access to the same vehicle at all times, or that the vehicles have been adequately sanitised.
“The fear of the impact on our members’ health and working lives is causing considerable stress and anxiety.”
Adding that the firm initiated a consultation process last year to remove the ‘van at home’ scheme in Northern Ireland, the union said it is prepared to explore every avenue possible to accommodate a compromise on the issue.
In response, a Yodel spokesperson commented: “Following extensive consultation with colleagues and union representatives which began in January 2019, we will be bringing the vehicle policy at our Omagh and Carrickfergus depots in line with the rest of the UK network.
“This will be introduced from the 3rd of June, having been delayed to account for the circumstances as the country entered lockdown.
“We are continuing to work with colleagues during this period to mitigate any impact, including offering changes to shift patterns and start times where appropriate.”
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