Parcel deliveries will be thrown into chaos from Monday as FedEx locks out workers left with no choice but to take industrial action after the company refused to consider their reasonable solution to finalise a fair enterprise agreement.
FedEx has notified the TWU that workers who participate in four-hour stoppages starting from Monday will be locked out for the remainder of the shift and the following full shift, meaning many workers will lose out on two days’ pay per action.
FedEx’s decision to invoke this right also provides workers with greater ability to take more disruptive industrial action. Following lockouts, workers are no longer required to provide three full business days’ notice of a strike, allowing them to down tools and walk off the job at any moment.
On Wednesday, talks broke down between TWU members and FedEx after the company refused to even consider a reasonable counter-offer put forward by workers to give them financial security sooner without costing the company more money than has been offered.
The TWU is calling on FedEx to abandon its attacks on workers and settle a fair agreement which locks in job security and repays the hard work and sacrifices made throughout the pandemic.
“After seven difficult months of trying to negotiate with a company with an anti-worker agenda which refuses to recognise a reasonable solution, FedEx workers have exhausted all options but to pursue their legal right to withdraw their labour.
“FedEx is cutting off its nose to spite its face. Management would rather start an all-out brawl with workers at great cost to its business and customers than consider the reasonable solution brought to the table by union members.
“The contrast between workers’ considered approach to negotiations compared to FedEx management’s bullish standover tactics is a shameful example of the ideological warfare imported from America.
“Overseas, FedEx spared no expense in its anti-union campaigning targeted at workers just trying to reach parity with other delivery drivers. Now, it is risking its relationship with clients by causing mass disruption during peak demand.
“At a time when supply chains are being crushed by the ‘Amazon Effect’, FedEx is playing with fire when it should be working with the rest of the industry to demand regulatory protections,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
The TWU has notified of rolling four-hour work stoppages starting on Monday in New South Wales and Western Australia, Tuesday in Victoria and Tasmania, and Wednesday in Queensland and South Australia. Further rolling actions will be determined by workers who are now able to walk off the job with minimal notice.
The TWU is calling FedEx urgently back to the table to resolve outstanding issues and prevent the need for further action.