An almost year-long battle for job security has ended after the TWU bargaining committee reached an in-principle enterprise agreement with StarTrack on Friday, leaving FedEx the only major transport operator yet to finalise a fair deal.
Workers won a backdated agreement to compensate them for the drawn-out negotiations, and commitments for same pay for labour hire workers as employees to protect workers against surges in outsourcing.
Key components of negotiations with StarTrack were auditing and dispute procedures, following workers’ concerns of breaches to the current agreement and claims of sham contracting arrangements from some labour hire workers.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine welcomed the in-principle agreement and said it was a testament to the collective strength of StarTrack workers who just wanted a fair deal for themselves and their families.
“Settling a fair deal is the early Christmas present StarTrack workers deserve. It’s a relief for workers that their job security will be locked in, and they’ll be given fair recognition for slogging it out in depots and in vans during COVID.”
“StarTrack workers sent senior management a strong message through their brave national actions, and we welcome the company coming back to the bargaining table constructively to reach a settlement. We hope this agreement signals a new era of co-operation with StarTrack workers moving forward, which has been missing from the company for some time”.
“StarTrack’s agreement means that FedEx is the only major transport company refusing to offer workers a fair deal. The international behemoth is playing outrageous games with the pay and conditions of its local workforce, exporting its anti-worker standover tactics to Australia and attempting to tear up commitments the company made to workers months ago”.
“This is what happens when the Federal Government abandons transport workers in their fight for a more secure industry. The Prime Minister has stood idly by as an insecure work crisis caused by the likes of Amazon spreads like wildfire throughout the industry, and global juggernauts ride roughshod over workers. It’s been left to transport workers to fight to end this deadly, industry-wide crisis”.
Rolling stoppages at FedEx planned for last week were deferred following crisis talks with the company in which management agreed to allow union representatives access to sites for 90-minute consultation meetings with workers.
In June, FedEx reported record revenues at US$84 billion and net income over US$5 billion.
In July, Amazon and Apple – key clients of FedEx – reported profits had roughly doubled compared to the previous year. Amazon’s half-year profits reached US$15.89 billion, while Apple’s June-quarter profits reached US$21.7 billion.
Transport workers across six other major transport companies – including Toll, Global Express and Linfox – have also secured fair deals which lock in their job security and significant improvements in pay and conditions.