The Transport Workers’ Union is calling on Federal Parliament to urgently back in reform that would make the gig economy safer, fairer and more sustainable after Milkrun becomes the latest casualty of an industry where standards continue to fall.
Milkrun’s collapse, following Send and Voly over the past year, follows a trend right across the transport industry of companies being forced out of the market by unfair and unsustainable competition.
Outside of the gig economy, Scott’s Refrigerated, Neway and Rivet Mining Services have all recently collapsed because of unsustainable contracts, leading to over 2000 job losses.
A study by the McKell Institute, the TWU and TEACHO recently found that 66% of full-time gig workers are earning less than minimum wage. It also found that over three quarters have to work long hours to make ends meet, yet hourly pay decreases the more hours are worked. Read the full report.
TWU’s National Secretary Michael Kaine said that the collapse of the company, which engaged its workers as employees instead of independent contractors, showed transport is on a dangerous downward spiral without urgent action.
“Milkrun was a company trying to do the right thing by its workers, but you can’t do the right thing and stay in business unless there are minimum standards.”
“Yet again we have hundreds of workers with an instantaneous loss of income because of the cannibalistic competition that’s squeezing companies like Milkrun out of existence.”
“Federal Parliament must urgently back in reforms that put in place fair and sustainable standards in the gig economy. Until then, companies trying to do the right thing will continue to be pushed out of business because lack of regulation means the floor for standards is rock bottom.”