StarTrack workers nationwide walked off the job for 24-hours at midnight after the Australia Post subsidiary refused meeting requests from workers to settle a new agreement, says the Transport Workers Union.
The union says workers are fighting for a reasonable agreement which locks in job security protections and offers recognition for helping net the company record profits during the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, TWU national secretary Michael Kaine again asked why StarTrack had walked away from negotiations.
“In the last two weeks, we have had six major transport operators around the country all sign off on good arrangements with transport workers; arrangements that lock in job security, and financial security for the coming years. StarTrack is an industry outlier,” said Kaine.
“StarTrack workers are striking because they want their job security locked in. There’s been a recent history in StarTrack for work being pushed out to cheaper, contracted labour. That’s a direct threat to these workers and their financial security.
“StarTrack workers have been some of the heroes of the pandemic. These workers were running the virus gauntlet long before there was a vaccine in sight. They’ve done their part for the community.”
In a statement sent to Big Rigs yesterday, StarTrack spokesperson Michelle Skehan said the union keeps moving the goalposts.
“At first it claimed it was about job security, and with a largely agreed approach there, it now claims it’s about pay,” said Skehan.
“This is despite repeated public statements from TWU officials that this is not a wages dispute.
“StarTrack has some of the best conditions in the industry, and last year we paid all frontline team members a one per cent Thank You bonus when none of our competitors did.”
Skehan said StarTrack’s “strong offer” includes a market-leading guaranteed pay rise of three per cent each year, secured and compounding for three years.
“Over 31,000 Australia Post team members have signed up to a three-year agreement under these conditions.”
In addition to the guaranteed 3 per cent pay rise per year across three years, StarTrack has agreed to a range of further job security commitments including:
- a commitment in the EBA to promote job security through the full-utilisation of permanent employees before the engagement of part-time, casual, labour hire or outside hire workers
- new auditing processes for outside hire companies, including requirements for outside hire companies to comply with all laws relating to WHS, superannuation, pay and conditions, and to supply payroll and time and attendance records to StarTrack to verify compliance
- casual conversion after 6 months regular and systematic engagement and labour hire conversion after 12 months regular and systematic engagement
- enhanced consultation forums and a commitment to provide information on outside hire usage and compliance to the TWU.
“We strongly encourage our StarTrack team members involved in this dispute to look at the facts and not the rhetoric and accept our very fair and longer term offer and return to work to continue serving our communities and customers.”