Couriers and Amazon-flex drivers will receive enforceable rates of pay along with gig-style protection in what the Transport Workers’ Union is describing as a landmark win.
The consultation — led by TWU and involving industry groups including ARTIO, Ai Group and the NSW Chamber of Commerce, along with major transport companies such as FedEx, Global Express and Toll — will pay an enforceable rate of $43.71 an hour to owner-drivers of vans with a carrying capacity between 1.5 and 3 tonnes. This will be phased in over three years starting March 1, 2021.
“The minimum pay rate for a courier using their own van was set at $28 almost 15 years ago. Since then, their operating costs have skyrocketed but their pay hasn’t changed, leaving some drivers earning below minimum wage after costs,” said TWU New South Wales/Queensland secretary Richard Olsen.
Olsen describes the decision as a ‘massive victory’ for the thousands of couriers who have been part of the TWU’s Fight for 40 campaign over many years.
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Amazon Flex drivers will be entitled to an enforceable rate of $37.80 to be phased in over the next three years along with the right to dispute resolution, union representation and collective bargaining.
“For too long, the likes of Amazon have been able to exploit independent contractor loopholes to sidestep rights and rip workers off fair rates of pay. While this outcome is incredible for drivers in parts of New South Wales, only Federal regulation will end a national crisis,” Olsen added.
He urged the Prime Minister to set up an independent body to establish binding standards in transport to ensure workers are not exploited, and to end the decimation of traditional transport companies which comply with Australia’s industrial and taxation laws.
This article was first published by Inside Retail.