A trade union has demanded an urgent meeting to discuss an ongoing wage dispute, after 20 van drivers were allegedly sacked for refusing a pay cut.

GMB says DHL subsidiary UK Mail sacked drivers for refusing to accept a 4% cut, equating to up to £2,000 a year.

UK Mail said it was confident that drivers would see average earnings increase, and that a small number had ‘opted not to renew their contracts’.

GMB said this was the second pay cut drivers had faced in the past year, and added that praise UK Mail has received for customer service was down to the efforts of its drivers, who should therefore be rewarded.

GMB national officer for transport and distribution Mick Rix said: “I have never known drivers to be so angry and upset at a company.

“We have organised a number of meetings up and down the country with GMB members, and more than 200 drivers and others working for DHL/UK Mail have joined GMB.

“They have simply had enough of their appalling treatment by the company executives and depot managers.

“Many are talking about the possibility of taking action.

“DHL/UKMail need to have a serious rethink, they claim to be a socially responsible company, yet their draconian treatment of drivers demonstrates these are just words on a website.

“We have written to DHL/UK Mail demanding an urgent meeting.

“If they don’t respond and meet with us, our campaign for justice for GMB drivers at this company will go to another level.”

In a statement, UK Mail said: “For DHL globally, cooperating with independent, self-employed subcontractors is common practice, built on long-term collaborative partnerships. In line with our corporate values, we operate with integrity and comply with all local market legislation.

“UK Mail is no exception – the company enjoys long-standing relationships with its body of self-employed last mile delivery couriers and strives for fair compensation based on payment per delivery stop.

“Due to the booming e-commerce business and the significant increase of parcel volumes handled by UK Mail, we review the earnings of our self-employed drivers on a regular basis.

“This is essential to ensure we are able to offer our customers the competitive prices they demand.

“While we are confident that due to the increase in volumes our couriers are carrying, they will continue to see their average earnings increase, a small number of drivers have opted not to renew their contracts under the new terms.”