Mike McNess, Branch Secretary together with Branch Assistant Secretary Mem Suleyman, led a peaceful convoy of more than 60 people through Melbourne.
Hundreds of transport worker employees, owner drivers and gig workers also joined convoys around Australia’s capital cities to up calls for the Federal Government and State Government to urgently implement reform to make Australia’s deadliest industry safer and guard against the Amazon effect.
More than 50 transport workers have been killed on the job since August last year when a Senate report was tabled setting out 10 recommendations – including the establishment of a Federal independent body to set universal, binding standards for transport workers.
The convoys coincided with FedEx’s attempts to bring in an underclass of drivers, akin to exploitative gig company Amazon Flex, who will use their own cars or vans on piece rates at just $2.50 per parcel.
Drivers under the Amazon Flex-style model would be expected to deliver an astronomical 93 parcels in a 10-hour shift – or one every 6 minutes – just to earn $35 an hour before vehicle, fuel, and insurance costs and without superannuation, sick leave, or protection from unfair dismissal.
Over 100 vehicles also convoyed to Parliament House in Canberra, while local convoys took place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.
The action demonstrated the extensive industry support and reenforced conversations in Canberra for parliamentarians to back a standard-setting body. Industry is calling for urgent action from the Federal Government to guard against the Amazon Effect making transport deadlier.