9. Workplace branches

Mark and Sam managed to get a branch of 10 members organised at Megacycles, but they soon left the industry. This coupled with a company take-over by West One forced other riders to leave and so the branch collapsed. John and Mike also got a 9 member branch going at Southbank Couriers.

We also had nascent branches at West One, First Courier, Cain Dispatch, ADC, Harley Street Runners and Cyclone. These were initiated when three or more people said they wanted to join but not much else concrete came out of it. To be fair, the difficulties of sustaining workplace branches may have been mainly due to the transient nature of the job, rather than the deficiencies of the DIWU. Also the riders who stay in this game long-term tend to gravitate towards the better firms anyway, so perhaps then feel less need to unionise.

People are always leaving this industry and if one or two energetic organisers left a firm the possibilities for a branch would often evaporate too. Despite the difficulties, and the weaknesses of the DIWU, workplace branches probably hold the key to long term unionisation for couriers.