There’s more delays on the way to parcel deliveries, as transport workers threaten to walk off the job again.
Transport workers at three of the country’s largest logistics companies will again walk off the job in a move that is expected to cause further delays to parcel deliveries.
Staff at international parcel giant FedEx, Australia Post subsidiary StarTrack and alcohol transport company BevChain gave notice of a 24-hour strike for this Thursday over pay disputes and job security.
It follows multiple strikes in previous weeks where transport workers took industrial action to stop the outsourcing of work to contractors.
Transport Workers Union (TWU) national secretary Michael Kaine said workers would only back down if their demands for stricter limits on outsourcing work were met.
He said other major transport firms including Global Express – which had been part of Toll – and Linfox had reached deals with the union where stronger guarantees that only a set percentage of work could be outsourced were agreed upon.
“As good deals are reached locking in strong job security clauses and fair pay and super increases across major transport operators, StarTrack and FedEx are exposed as outliers persisting with their attacks on workers and trying to profit off the pandemic,” Mr Kaine said.
“On the one hand, you have a government-owned company which has deliberately delayed reaching an agreement to swindle workers for as long as possible. On the other, an international union-busting juggernaut which pulled in over $US5bn in net profit last year.
“Based on performance, these companies should have been the first to provide job security guarantees and fair pay and conditions to reflect workers’ sacrifices and efforts during the pandemic. Instead, they have pushed workers to the brink with no choice but to pursue legal industrial action to break the impasse before the Christmas surge in demand.”
FedEx was contacted for comment but had previously said it was “co-operatively negotiating” with the union to secure an agreement that would provide “a fair wage and superannuation increase for our employees at the earliest opportunity”.
“We are disappointed that the TWU has chosen to take industrial action and is now threatening further industry-wide industrial action despite productive negotiations to date and the impact it will have on customers and the community, especially in these critical times,” a spokesman said.
StarTrack said it remained committed to its offer of a guaranteed 3 per cent pay rise each year and stood by its “strong commitment” to job security.
“The TWU has previously said that this is not a dispute about wages but that it is a dispute about job security, yet despite StarTrack having made further significant concessions in relation to the TWU’s job security claims in an effort to reach agreement, the TWU continues to threaten further industrial action at a time when the delivery of essential items has never been more important,” spokesperson Michelle Skehan said.
“StarTrack continues to bargain in good faith, and we will continue to advocate for and support our people and our communities during this difficult and uncertain time. StarTrack strongly rejects that job security is under threat.”
Linfox has been contacted for comment.