Brits face 'Christmas misery’ because of late or lost Evri parcels - MP in shock rant at delivery company

Carolyn Harris MP spoke at a session of questions related to the business of the Commons.
Carolyn Harris MP spoke at a session of questions related to the business of the Commons.

The Labour MP says she has been 'inundated' with stories of late or lost parcels

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People are “facing Christmas misery” because parcels are being lost or delayed by delivery firm Evri, Labour MP Carolyn Harris has said.

The MP for Swansea East also hit out at the company more generally, saying it was a “classic case of corporate greed over staff welfare and customer service”.

Speaking at a session of questions related to the business of the Commons, Ms Harris said: “Many people across the UK are facing Christmas misery as online shopping deliveries have been delayed or lost by delivery firm Evri.

“After expressing concerns about this company on social media, I have been inundated with stories of late or lost parcels, no or poor customer service, drivers earning less than the national living wage, drivers’ pay being withheld, and pathetic petrol allowance which is insufficient to cover increased fuel charges.

“A classic case of corporate greed over staff welfare and customer service.”

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt said: “I’m really shocked to hear that from the honourable lady. And I will immediately ask the Business Secretary to get one of his ministers to look into this, as clearly people are waiting on deliveries, particularly over the Christmas period.

Evri has come under scrutiny by a Labour MP.
Evri has come under scrutiny by a Labour MP.

“And the message to companies which want to short-change their workers and short-change their customers is not only will they lose their workforce and lose their customers, but the honourable lady will also give them a spanking on the floor of this House.”

A spokesperson for Evri said: “We are disappointed by the comments made today and do not think this is a fair representation of our business.

“All of Evri’s employees and self-employed couriers are paid above the national living wage, with the average courier pay in excess of £15 per hour. Evri is committed to good people practices and it was this commitment that led us to be the first parcel company to formally recognise the GMB trade union in respect of our couriers.

“As part of this agreement, we have subsequently introduced holiday pay, the right to guaranteed pay, a pension scheme and parental leave for our couriers.”

The company said it has increased fuel supplements during its peak period and that the majority of couriers now receive a fuel supplement of £30 per month on average, in addition to fuel discounts at certain petrol stations.

They added: “We are sorry that some customers are experiencing short, localised delays in receiving their parcels. We are currently delivering more than 3 million parcels a day, however like others in the sector, we are experiencing some delays to service due to record Christmas volumes, Royal Mail strikes, staff shortages and severe weather conditions.

“Our teams across the country are working extremely hard to address any delays and to make sure parcels are delivered before Christmas. We’ve recruited an additional 5,000 couriers, 150 lorries and 820 trailers to help deliver Christmas.”

The company said it is working to provide guidance to customers on delivery times, adding: “We thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”

Elsewhere in the session, ministers were told that transforming the Royal Mail into a “gig economy courier” would have huge implications for its future and the Commons must debate it.

Labour MP Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston) said: “Today is the fifth day this month that members of the Communication Workers Union are taking industrial action at the Royal Mail, and having spoken to a number of superb postal workers in my constituency I have real concerns about the way the company is being run.

“It has gone from making a huge profit to losing hundreds of millions of pounds in 12 months.

“It has prioritised parcels over letter delivery and it now wants to drop the universal service obligation.

“I think that if the future of the Royal Mail is to become a gig economy courier company, that will have huge implications not only for the quality of service but also postal workers’ terms and conditions and I think that is something this House ought to have an opinion on.”

Ms Mordaunt replied: “He will know that Beis (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) questions is not until the second week that we are back, so I will write to the Secretary of State (Grant Shapps) on his behalf to make sure he has heard his concerns.”