What can threaten Black Friday sales in Australia?

Highlights

  • Delivery of parcels, particularly pertaining to the Black Friday sales, is likely to face disruption as drivers of FedEx threaten ad hoc strike.
  • The strike threat arises as FedEx Drivers are demanding a catch-up pay hike for working during the pandemic.
  • If further stoppage comes into action, Queensland and South Australia are expected to be the worst-affected states, where drivers had at the beginning planned to strike on Wednesday.  

At a time when the Country is in the grip of festive fervour and Aussies are busy shopping Christmas presents for their close ones, there appears to be a hiccup amidst this celebratory atmosphere. This is because threats of ad hoc strike at major delivery company FedEx could disrupt deliveries of black Friday sales. The strike threat arises as FedEx Drivers are demanding a catch-up pay hike for working during the pandemic. 

There are fears that the delivery Company drivers can legitimately walk off the job at any time this week due to the escalation of a pay dispute between FedEx and the transport union. The Transport Workers Union has indicated further stoppages after the Company locked out striking delivery workers for around two days in its response to four-hour stoppages called by Union from Monday to Wednesday.

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This comes as supply chain companies in the Country have been hit by waves of industrial action over the past three months, and businesses are under tremendous pressure to provide a wage hike of at least 3% due to an increase in the cost of living.

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Though FedEx has proposed a pay rise of 9.25% for its drivers over the next three years, the union believes that this does not include any wage increase for the previous year when the drivers delivered record parcels. On Thursday, the Transport Worker's Union had written to FedEx clients, such as Apple, Wesfarmers and Harvey Norman, requesting them to pressurise FedEx for a settlement after the pay talks between the parties reached an impasse.

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