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StarTrack workers to strike after pay talks break down

StarTrack remains the only transport company facing national 24-hour strikes from midnight tonight after the Transport Workers Union said the company refused requests to present them with an enterprise agreement offer.

Since the national StarTrack enterprise agreement expired in December 2020, the company has unceasingly attempted to delay bargaining for a new agreement, the union said in a media statement released today.

In February, workers petitioned the company so that it would commence negotiations.

The union said StarTrack’s refusal to meet echoes the response from Communications Minister Paul Fletcher who last week declined an invitation to hear from StarTrack workers about the mistreatment they’ve experienced.

“StarTrack has always been playing a long game – the longer the better as far as the company is concerned,” said TWU national secretary Michael Kaine.

“It’s a tactical play designed to stretch out the period between enterprise agreements to avoid repaying hard work. The longer this is drawn out, the more StarTrack pockets.

“Workers won’t allow their families’ futures to be held to ransom. As December looms, StarTrack expects workers to step up for an enormous Christmas period without certainty over their jobs, pay or conditions. That is no way to thank the workers who have generated record revenues while being attacked by their employer.”

StarTrack has been approached for comment on the latest strike threat.

Spokesperson Michelle Skehan told us last month that StarTrack has put its best and final pay offer to the TWU which includes a market-leading guaranteed pay rise of 9 per cent over three years, delivered as 3 per cent compounding each year.

“This is the best pay offer among our competitors. StarTrack is not proposing any reductions in pay or conditions for its employees,” she said.

Meanwhile, BevChain workers yesterday secured a strong in-principle deal while FedEx workers agreed to suspend strikes until next week to facilitate further talks, the union said.

“BevChain workers achieved job security protections akin to those agreed to by Linfox, including caps on outsourcing, prioritisation of employees for all available hours and improvements to auditing and consultation,” a union statement said.

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