A group of TWU trained Health and Safety Reps (HSRs) working in FedEx depots across the Sydney Basin have been in dispute with the company over the “constitution” for two years.
The constitution that FedEx put forward eroded the rights, powers and functions of HSRs in the workplace. FedEx did not consult workers. FedEx is a global company, operating from their Memphis Headquarters in the USA. They told managers at the NSW division of FedEx that they would be enforcing policies set globally when it came to Work Health and Safety.
One of the most concerning parts of this story is that multiple Australian managers dealt with this issue and still did not know what was required of them under Australian workplace safety laws.
Finally a win, TWU HSRs called in Comcare, the Regulator. Comcare has now provided an adjudication ruling that FedEx management must include a clause in their so-called “constitution” that points out FedEx responsibility for compliance with WHS legislation. Such compliance includes support for HSRs exercising their powers under the WHS Act.