Linfox and Bevchain next in TWU industrial action line


Workers of both could be joining Toll drivers in strike action says union

Linfox and Bevchain next in TWU industrial action line
Possible strike looming by Linfox drivers

 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) flagged thousands more transport workers preparing  for strike applications at Linfox and Bevchain.

The company proposals echo those at Toll, StarTrack and FedEx, which would allow work to be outsourced and introduce a lower paid, insecure workforce, the union claimed. 

The mounting action means more than 15,000 truck drivers are heading towards strikes after talks broke down between TWU members and five major transport companies.

The 'attack on jobs' comes amid crushing pressure to cut rates from wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies along with the competitive threat from Uber-style exploitation at AmazonFlex, according to the TWU.

Today the Fair Work Commission (FWC) is to receive applications from workers at Linfox and Bevchain to hold votes to take industrial action if companies refuse to 'abandon their stance on employing workers'. 

This would involve more than 2,000 workers in the food and alcohol supply chains serviced by Linfox and Bevchain. 

A response from Linfox has been sought.

A 24-hour strike involving 7,000 Toll workers is already planned for this Friday.


Read how Toll drivers are set to go on strike this Friday, here


Yesterday, 2,000 StarTrack workers began voting on taking action, while a ballot for 4,000 FedEx workers opens next week.

A critical dispute at both Linfox and Bevchain is the proposed introduction of a 'second-grade workforce' on lower pay and conditions which would ultimately squeeze out the jobs of current workers.

Toll withdrew a similar proposal after workers voted 94 per cent in favour of strikes.

Further claimed misgivings against Linfox and Bevchain include shift changes and a refusal to allocate work to permanent employees before outside hire.

"Transport workers are doing the right thing," TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said.

"It takes guts to stand up to your employer and strength to walk off the job, but they know they have no choice.

"If transport companies push ahead and flood truck yards with low paid, stressed, precarious workers, it will eradicate good, safe jobs in Australia’s deadliest industry.

"While the Federal Government remains a tight-lipped bystander, transport workers are exercising their flawed industrial rights to try to keep supply chains from imploding. 

"Transport is facing a tsunami of underemployment. Wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies are literally raking in the billions while shaving costs off the movement of their goods around the country.

"The impact of this has been an undercurrent in transport for years, and now a deadly swell has arrived. 

"Transport companies are under pressure from a constant squeeze on rates from the likes of Amazon and Aldi, but rather than facing off the cost-cutting to ensure the work can be done safely and viably, they’re passing the buck onto workers through attempts to replace decent jobs with an insecure workforce.

"It is no coincidence that workers across several major transport companies are facing the same attacks.

"This should be a wake-up call to the Federal Government about the crisis in trucking that workers warned was occurring."

The TWU had earlier filed claims on 50 retailers operating in Australia demanding they lift standards in transport.

 

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