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August 3, 2022

Fedex “gig-style” proposal for owner drivers threatens job security

Last year, thousands of FedEx workers were forced to take days of national protected industrial action for their job security.

Workers were under significant threats from outsourcing to cheaper labour hire, and representatives from the US parent company even stepped in to unwind job security commitments made during bargaining.

Now, FedEx is attempting a “back-door” approach to renege on those commitments by engaging an underclass of owner drivers on substandard piece rates.

What it would mean for workers

Under the proposal new owner drivers would face rates and conditions far inferior to current workers.

  • Drivers would be paid a flat rate of $120 plus a piece rate of just $2.50 per parcel
  • They’d be expected to deliver an astronomical 93 parcels per 10-hour shift, roughly 1 every 6 minutes
  • Drivers would also lose rights like sick leave and superannuation, which FedEx claims would be covered under the piece rates along with cost recovery for fuel, vehicle maintenance etc.
  • Under the system drivers would lose all rights to collective bargaining, with FedEx intending to negotiate piece rates individually with drivers every six months

 

The Amazon Effect in practice

FedEx’s dangerous proposal would heap more pressure on drivers already stretched to the limit, and undermine the job security protections workers won just last year. The plan is the Amazon Effect in practice, driven by Amazon’s exploitative model that smashes wages and conditions.

If FedEx goes ahead with this, other major transport companies will be forced to do the same just to stay in the game.

 

The Federal Government has committed to establishing a body to set minimum, safe standards for all transport.

 Recently hundreds of drivers joined convoys around Australia to call for urgent action on that commitment before more companies can join FedEx’s appalling proposal.

 

We’re fighting hard for these reforms because we know they will save lives.

 

 

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