TWU

Administration of 1stFleet Trucking Highlights Major Retailers Squeeze On The Supply Chain

Release date: 27/04/2012

The decision to appoint an administrator to trucking firm 1stFleet yesterday leaves hundreds of workers and their families facing a dark and uncertain future and highlights yet again the squeeze on the supply chain by major retailers like Coles. That’s according to Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU).


Tony Sheldon commented; “With the recent appointment of an administrator to oversee trucking firm 1stFleet, employees and owner-drivers at the company face a dark and uncertain future. 1stFleet has been shortchanging their workers for several months now. Many owner-drivers have more than two months of wages and contracts outstanding. Employees have not been paid for over a week. The company has been guilty of not paying superannuation on several occasions, an issue TWU workplace representatives have called them up on.”

 

“This is clearly a company that does not take their responsibility to their workforce seriously. The issue was only brought to a head when workers at the Smithfield Depot in Sydney refused to commence work until management gave them answers on their unpaid wages and their futures.”

 

“The difficulties faced by 1stFleet are another warning sign to the Government and the Australian community about the danger posed by the unfettered economic power of major retailers such as Coles. Road transportation is forecast to double over the next 20 years, yet companies are going bust, wages are static or declining in the industry and heavy vehicle accidents continue to kill more than 300 people each year. Major retailers are putting the big squeeze on their supply chain, wringing it dry and pocketing the profits. This affects everyone, from truckies to farmers, small businesses and small communities. Until such time as companies such as Coles are required to treat their workforce and supply chain with some dignity we will continue to see jobs lost, companies bust and sadly more trucking tragedies on our roads."

Tony Sheldon concluded: "Our workplace representatives within 1st Fleet will be engaing with the administrator to explore all options for keeping the company operating and ensuring that unpaid wages, contracts and superannuation are paid to everyone in the workforce."

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Barry Dunning, Press Officer, TWU, Tel: 0408 463 199, email: barry.dunning@twu.com.au



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