FedEx workers in Australia are planning to strike against the logistics company over questionable work conditions. The industrial action follows wider protests in the transport sector, which includes the recent StarTrack workers’ strike.
Employees will reportedly walk off the job on 30 September, bringing the total number of transport workers on strike to 6,000. This will likely put a halt to delivery operations ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The action comes after 97 per cent of workers associated with the Transport Workers Union voted in favour of the decision. Earlier, negotiations between the TWU and the two employers supposedly failed to result in a resolution. The union purportedly called for capping the number of contractors hired externally through a labour-hire arrangement and demanded assurance of equal benefits and compensation for workers.
Talks with other companies will continue. However, employers could see a fresh wave of strikes should these negotiations dissolve.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine welcomed the latest developments. He raised concerns about employers’ supposed attempts to “block workers exercising their rights,” as well as actions that leave delivery crew feeling insecure over their jobs.
“Everywhere you look, transport workers are in the fight of their lives to stop insidious cost-cutting plans, which would gut the decent jobs that thousands of workers and their families rely on," Kaine said, as reported by ABC News.
“After responsibly agreeing to defer bargaining for a year, FedEx workers have been battling for job guarantees for six months and management has dismissed them at every turn.
“If FedEx had no plans to outsource work, they would have given a commitment on day one, Workers shouldn’t have been put in the position of choosing between strikes and signing a shoddy agreement which would see their jobs express shipped out to the lowest bidder,” Kaine said.