February 1, 2021

Drivers join global Amazon protests for Black Friday

On Black Friday 2020 drivers formed a convoy of protest around Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Sydney. They’re angry that Amazon Flex is paying desperate people below minimum wage to deliver parcels under extreme time pressure.

A TWU financial examination of Amazon revealed the company pays its drivers well under Australia’s minimum wage. This decreases significantly when taking into account costs like insurance, petrol, and maintenance.

“Amazon Flex entering our market is another blow to Australia’s basic workers’ rights like minimum wage and workers’ compensation. For years, workers and unions have exposed the gig economy for its exploitation of industrial and WHS legislation. Amazon has profited immensely from the pandemic on a mission to undercut legitimate companies and tear down labour standards,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.

“The Australian Government must pay attention to the worker abuses already rife in Australia since the likes of Uber came to our shores. Their inaction has left the door wide open for Amazon to come in and wreak more havoc in transport.”

“Amazon Flex has arrogantly driven into Australia with a business model that will block up our roads with desperately underpaid delivery drivers in potentially unsafe vehicles,” said the TWU’s NSW Secretary Richard Olsen.

“Amazon is undermining Australian transport companies that obey Australians laws, recognise Australian safety standards, and uphold basic Australian values about work. Unlike these companies, Amazon Flex contributes zero to our economy or our communities.

“If we allow Amazon Flex to continue operating unregulated, people will be seriously injured and killed. That’s not an extreme prediction. It’s what happens when a business model applies extreme time pressure to a desperate underpaid person behind the wheel of an unregulated vehicle.”

In the media:

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