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TWU launches reinstatement claim for Amazon Flex driver sacked without notice

The TWU is lodging a claim for reinstatement for an Amazon Flex driver who was allegedly terminated without notice or reason

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has announced it has lodged a claim for reinstatement in the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission for an Amazon Flex driver who was allegedly terminated without notice or reason.

The union this week will lead a delegation to Canberra in support of federal legislation to end road transport exploitation.

The TWU says Jatinderpal Singh had worked as an Amazon Flex driver delivering parcels across Sydney since November 2021.

On April 4, 2022, the TWU says Singh found he was unable to log in to the app, with Amazon not responding to repeated requests for more information from Singh and the TWU.

The matter is the first of its kind since a TWU-led application to expand NSW’s successful owner driver laws resulted in Amazon Flex drivers receiving minimum rights and protections.

Amazon Flex is the Amazon’s gig-style parcel delivery model that has been rolled out in capital cities across the country, with drivers being allocated parcels within a set time block to make deliveries within that window.

The TWU says drivers are not compensated for additional hours worked to complete the heavy loads and can be disciplined – including with termination – if they fail to complete their deliveries within the allocated time.

TWU NSW/QLD Secretary Richard Olsen says Amazon is acting as if the law didn’t apply to the company.

“Jatinderpal has shown incredible bravery standing up and calling out Amazon for trashing the owner driver laws in NSW,” Olsen says.

“Amazon has harped on for years about how it’s always followed the law despite underpaying Amazon Flex drivers for years. At the first available opportunity, it’s unfairly terminated a driver without notice or reason despite a clear, industry-wide determination preventing it from doing so.

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“The successful owner driver laws in NSW that have lifted standards and saved lives for decades aren’t optional.”

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine says Singh’s experience demonstrated why gig companies could not be left to their own devices.

“Unfortunately, Jatinderpal’s story of unfair sacking is something we’re hearing from drivers across the country,” Kaine says.

“While NSW’s owner driver laws extend rights and protections to Amazon Flex drivers, the patchwork of industrial instruments across the country means drivers are exposed to exploitation and termination with no right of appeal”.

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