The NSW Industrial Relations Commission today granted Amazon Flex delivery drivers an enforceable minimum pay rate based on the capacity of their vehicles. It's the first time in the world that Amazon Flex drivers have gotten such a break, and it will give a major pay increase to the drivers of both the largest and smallest vehicles.
Amazon pays its Flex drivers a flat rate of $108 for a 4-hour delivery shift, an amount that was first set in 2006 and has not been reviewed since. This amount does not factor in drivers' costs - which can be significantly higher for larger vehicles - insurance, or superannuation. And if drivers cannot complete all their deliveries within the allotted four hours - which one ABC News investigative report last year strongly suggests is often the case - they are not compensated for any additional time spent finishing the work.
However, with the commission's decision, this rate will be significantly increased:
- Owner-drivers of vehicles with a 1.5-3 tonne capacity will get $43.74/hour from 1 March
- Owner-drivers of smaller delivery vehicles (cars and minivans) will get $37.80/hour by July 2025
- Bicycle delivery riders will get $31.32/hour by July 2025
In addition, Flex drivers will have the rights to dispute resolution, union representation and collective bargaining.
The Transport Workers' Union, which took the action on behalf of Flex drivers, welcomed the decision, saying it would finally catch drivers up after 15 years of stagnant pay.
However, TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine pointed out that although this decision would significantly benefit Flex drivers in New South Wales, drivers in other states are still not entitled to minimum pay or other protections, and called for the federal government to implement national standards.
Image from TWU NSW: TWU members protest outside Amazon Flex in Sydney, October 2020