Richard Olsen, TWU NSW State Secretary told drivers – “Amazon Flex has arrogantly driven into Australia with a business model that will block up roads with desperately underpaid delivery drivers in unregulated, potentially unsafe vehicles.”
Amazon is one of many corporations, which include Uber and Australia Post undercutting Australian workers.
Getting their orders from an App, underpaid people, desperate to make ends meet in these dire times, are delivering parcels subject to severe time pressure and in their own vehicle. Amazon Flex makes the money, yet contributes zero to our economy or our communities.
There has been a rise in the number of people taking up precarious gig economy work, people looking for an alternative income as their normal jobs are not currently available.
Amazon’s minimum payments for Flex drivers is putting their lives and other road users at risk. Distributing jobs through an App means that Amazon are tossing their shared responsibility for safety on our roads squarely into the driver’s seat of someone trying to keep afloat by working in the gig economy.
The TWU has financially examined the income records of Amazon Flex drivers. Their income is below standard and impacts drivers’ abilities to maintain their vehicles running costs which includes maintenance, insurance, fuel and more.
In 2006 the rate for delivery drivers was set at $27 per hour. It’s 2020 and the rate is still $27 per hour. This rate is so far below where it needs to be. The TWU has done the calculations and sees today’s standards as $40 plus per hour for vehicles under two tonnes. That $40 minimum per hour takes into account the cost recovery you need to have as an owner-driver, contract carrier in NSW. Richard Olsen is worried, “If Amazon Flex is allowed to continue operating in an unregulated way, the potential is that people will either be seriously injured or killed. That’s not an extreme prediction, it’s what happens when the business model being used applies extreme time pressure to a desperate underpaid.