The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) is warning that changes to be introduced by Australia Post threaten 2000 permanent jobs — a quarter of the workforce.
The union wants federal MPs to block the new “alternating delivery model” which it said would lead to Australia Post extending letter delivery times and redeploying workers. The changes to “performance standards”, implemented by federal regulation in April supposedly to cope with a surge in demand for parcel deliveries during the COVID-19 shut-down, are temporary and expire in June next year.
The changes allow Australia Post to deprioritise letter and small package delivery services in metro areas, and focus on parcel deliveries.
But the CEPU said workers would face pay cuts of up to 30%, and mail waiting times would be significantly lengthened. “The regulatory changes allow Australia Post to cut back daily postie services and attack workers’ job security and take-home pay,” CEPU national secretary Shane Murphy said.
Murphy warned that the federal government could be preparing to privatise Australia Post. The union has met with and written to federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to urge him to rule out privatisation.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which represents printing workers, said on June 11 that the proposed changes would inflict more pain on an industry, already suffering from COVID-19 job cuts. AMWU assistant national secretary Lorraine Cassin said it would jeopardise 130,000 jobs in mailing houses and printers across the country.
Labor has said it will move to overturn the changes in the Senate where a vote is expected soon.