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17 Jun 2024

Morgan Ofori, The Guardian (UK)

UK: Spanish workers take legal action against Amazon subcontractor One Motion over docked wages & charges for "vehicle damage"; incl. co. comments

See all tags Allegations

"Spanish drivers hired to dliever Amazon parcels in UK take legal action over pay,"

A group of drivers hired in Spain and brought to the UK to deliver Amazon packages to British households in the run-up to Christmas are taking legal action against the company and one of its subcontractors.

The drivers claim the subcontractor promised them earnings of more than £100 a day, free housing, van rental, insurance and free return flights via an online meeting in Spanish...

Some of the drivers say they were not paid in full, and in some cases billed thousands of pounds for vehicle damage after their contracts ended, leaving several in debt. While they accept there was vehicle damage, they believe the fees charged to be exorbitant.

The drivers are now taking legal action against the subcontractor, One Motion, for the docked wages and compensation in a group tribunal claim. They say in their claim that consent for the charges was not “validly obtained”, as the terms and conditions for the subcontractor agreement were told to the drivers after they had signed. Amazon is named as a respondent in the claim.

[A United Voices of the World union] spokesperson added: “One Motion continues to send debt collection agencies to hound these workers to pay these erroneous debts, threatening their credit scores and financial wellbeing.”...

One Motion denies the allegations, saying their position was that the drivers were correctly classified as subcontractors operating on a self-employed basis...

“Of the 14 drivers represented by UVW, three incurred no additional charges relating to damages to a vehicle owing to the fact that vehicles were returned in the same condition as which they had been issued.

“The remaining 11 were engaged for a period of between four and six weeks and a total of £22,053 of damage was caused to the vehicles issued...” ...

Amazon denied it was involved in any wrongdoing and said it was committed to fair treatment for those employed by its subcontractors. “We are committed to ensuring that the people contracted by our independent delivery providers are fairly compensated and treated with respect. We have been made aware of the issue and are investigating,” it said...