It was a routine delivery run in December for Martyn Gilham, 28. Unfortunately it turned into anything but routine and fast. When he got out of his truck to deliver Amazon packages, he was knocked to the ground and robbed. The thief took Gilham’s wallet and the keys to the delivery truck, which he proceeded to steal. He got away with the truck, Martyn’s wallet and 62 packages. If Gilham thought that was the worst that would happen to him, he was wrong.
Gilham is the father of a beautiful little 11 month-old girl named Sophia and works as a delivery driver in the UK. His employer, Fast Despatch Transport Ltd, provides delivery services for Amazon. When Gilham was robbed, the scumbag did not get his phone, so he was able to call the police, which he did. Then he called his boss, like any dutiful employee would on his way to the police station. So far, so good. Then his boss turned into a grade-A jerk.
His boss shocked Gilham when his first question was, “Did you leave the key in the ignition?” His second question was, “Is there anything you could have done to prevent it?” Gilham got the definite feeling that his boss had expected him to fight off his attacker. But he was blindsided and never had the chance. About a week after the robbery, he checked back with his boss on the status of the stolen items. That’s when his prince of a boss told him that the police had located the van, but had not released it yet. Oh, and by the way, you’re fired.
Shocked, Gilham didn’t even know what to say. And there was more coming about when and if he would get paid. “Still waiting for police to release the van,” the text messages read. “About work, we will not use your service anymore. About your earning, we have to wait to see what will be the bill for the van and for the parcels inside and you receive the rest.” At this point, I imagine Gilham was getting royally ticked off. I would be. He told his now ex-boss that it was unfair to punish him for being the victim of a robbery. “Just so you and Amazon are aware, I will be seeking legal advice on this matter,” Gilham wrote back. His boss responded with a simple “ok.” Probably figuring that Gilham did not have the means to follow up on his threat.
Since the robbery, Gilham has struggled to pay his bills and provide for his family without his wallet or his wages. He lost almost a week in pay and that doesn’t count being out of work. Unemployment will bring a little back, but even then, it’s nowhere near enough. “I should imagine a company like Amazon would have insurance for their parcels,” he said, “so I don’t understand why my wages have to cover them.”
Spokespersons from both Amazon and Fast Despatch Transport Ltd addressed the situation in statements. “We are committed to ensuring that the people contracted by our independent delivery providers are fairly compensated, treated with respect, and follow all applicable laws,” an Amazon spokesperson said. Doesn’t look that way to me. “The safety of the contracted drivers we work with is our key priority and we are investigating this matter with the police,” the FDT spokesperson stated. Just not fast enough.
“Drivers are trained in the safety and security of themselves and their vehicles. When drivers leave Fast Despatch Transport they are paid all money owed to them after a short time period which allows us to calculate outstanding amounts due, such as repair of any damage to the vehicle caused by the driver while delivering parcels. This is clearly explained to the drivers when they start working with us. The driver will not be charged the cost of stolen parcel.” They got the van back, but if it was damaged, the driver has to pay? He was freaking robbed, you asshats. Boy, I hope they get a ton of bad PR out of this one.
It’s unclear what Gilham will have to pay, or if he’ll get any of his final wages. The packages that were stolen he won’t be charged for. The investigation is still ongoing and I assume they have not caught the guy who attacked the driver. This is extremely unfair to Gilham, who was the victim here. I have no idea why they fired him to begin with. He certainly has grounds for a lawsuit over this. Maybe there is a pro-bono attorney out there that wants a case that could go high-profile. Let’s hope so.