September 23, 2021


Transport workers at FedEx yards across the country will strike for 24-hours next Thursday following sustained refusal from the record revenue-making company to guarantee job security for its workers.

Notification of the strike comes as up to 2,000 workers at StarTrack walked off the job at midnight to fight rampant outsourcing and end a deadly industry-wide push towards insecure work.

Workers entered crisis talks with FedEx on Tuesday after a ballot of TWU members returned a resounding 97% yes vote to strikes. Talks broke down when the company rejected demands for caps on outside hire and for existing employees to be guaranteed work before contracting out. The company has also refused to guarantee same job same pay provisions for outside hire.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the FedEx and StarTrack strikes affecting 6000 transport workers show how deeply the insecure work crisis in transport runs.

“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.

“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.

“Supply chains are at breaking point, crippled by the double whammy of mammoth demand which is driving record profits, and lethal cost-cutting from wealthy retailers. Operators then have the impossible task of trying to compete with exploitative gig companies like Amazon Flex which threaten to obliterate good, safe jobs if regulation is not urgently forthcoming. The Federal Government must stop sitting on its hands and set up an independent tribunal to create minimum protections for workers to end this deadly race to the bottom, as recommended by the Senate,” he said.

Job security guarantees are being sought by thousands of workers at major transport operators to defend against a push to compete with exploitative business models like AmazonFlex by slashing labour costs and outsourcing work.

Recent ballots of transport workers have resulted in minimum 90% yes votes for strikes across Toll, StarTrack, FedEx Linfox and Bevchain.

In June, FedEx reported record full-year results with revenues jumping to US$84 billion and net income over US$5 billion. FedEx runs a golf tournament with a $60 million prize.

Retailers globally have boomed since the pandemic hit with Amazon announcing profits up 224% to $US8 billion in just one quarter. Apple said its revenue went up another 36% in the June-quarter record revenue to US$81.4 billion.

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