StarTrack workers lock in job security deal

After a year-long battle for job security, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) bargaining committee reached an in-principle enterprise agreement with StarTrack on Friday.

StarTrack workers secured a commitment for the same pay as labour hire workers in order to protect StarTrack workers against surges in outsourcing.

The pay increase will also be backdated due to the drawn-out negotiations. The agreement only leaves FedEx as the only major transport operator yet to finalise a fair deal.

Auditing and dispute procedures were high on the negotiation agenda following workers’ concerns of breaches to the current agreement and claims of sham contracting arrangements from some labour hire workers.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine welcomed the in-principle agreement and said it was a testament to the collective strength of StarTrack workers who just wanted a fair deal for themselves and their families.

“Settling a fair deal is the early Christmas present StarTrack workers deserve. It’s a relief for workers that their job security will be locked in, and they’ll be given fair recognition for slogging it out in depots and in vans during Covid,” said Kaine.

“StarTrack workers sent senior management a strong message through their brave national actions, and we welcome the company coming back to the bargaining table constructively to reach a settlement. We hope this agreement signals a new era of co-operation with StarTrack workers moving forward, which has been missing from the company for some time.”

Kaine believes the federal government has been asleep in applying pressure on multi-national corporations.

“StarTrack’s agreement means that FedEx is the only major transport company refusing to offer workers a fair deal. The international behemoth is playing outrageous games with the pay and conditions of its local workforce,” said Kaine.

“The Prime Minister has stood idly by as an insecure work crisis caused by the likes of Amazon spreads like wildfire throughout the industry, and global juggernauts ride roughshod over workers. It’s been left to transport workers to fight to end this deadly, industry-wide crisis.”

Meanwhile, rolling stoppages at FedEx which were planned for last week were deferred following crisis talks with the company.

However, FedEx management have agreed to allow union representatives access to sites for 90-minute consultation meetings with workers.

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