Christmas parcel deliveries are under threat with thousands of transport workers walking off the job this week.
FedEx employees promised rolling four-hour stoppages to delivery services across the country on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The company is at odds with the 64,000-member Transport Workers Union (TWU) over a new pay deal, with the company offering 9.25 per cent over three years.
But the union wants a better offer, claiming FedEx pays much less than its competitors and makes huge profits.
This week’s industrial action started in NSW and Western Australia on Monday morning, with workers in Victoria and Tasmania to walk off the job on Tuesday and then fresh strikes in Queensland and South Australia on Wednesday.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said strikes were always a last resort, but employees were left with no other option after FedEx refused to consider a reasonable counteroffer put forward by workers.
“They made $5 billion profit during the pandemic,” he said.
“It’s not a question of them being able to support these workers, it is a question of being able and willing to do it,” he said.
Workers on strike were also protesting against the outsourcing of work to services such as Amazon.
“These workers want no more than some good job security visions and a decent cost of living pay rise,” he said.
“It‘s not too much to ask but clearly, these workers are in a position now where they have to exercise their rights to take industrial action.
“FedEx here is imposing and it is time for them to take a different approach otherwise it is going to go on until Christmas.”
FedEx workers agreed to defer negotiations for 12 months in 2020 to support the company during the pandemic.
But Mr Kaine said demand boomed, where in June, the transport giant reported record revenues at US$84 billion and net income over US$5 billion.
FedEx has previously said that it already pays its workers “significantly above industry standard”.
“On October 21, FedEx put forward a generous offer to competitively increase these already industry-leading wages over three years and an overall superannuation increase by the end of the agreement,” a spokesperson said.
“This offer was regrettably rejected by the TWU, delaying the increases to team members.
“We are working hard to finalise the negotiations so that a fair wage and super increase can be passed onto employees as soon as possible.
“Our current position on wages is reflective of the current economic environment while recognising the need to remain competitive, supporting business growth and job security for all our team members.
“We continue to approach these negotiations in good-faith, and we hope the TWU can do the same.”