Today, more than 100 WA transport workers will protest at Aldi Southlands demanding the company sign up to six supply chain safety principles and meet with the TWU to develop a charter to make their transport supply chain safer, fairer and more sustainable.
The protest calls on the supermarket giant to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of transport workers in Australia’s deadliest industry.
This year 123 people have died in truck crashes, 32 of them truck drivers.
Coles and Woolworths have signed charters with the TWU committing to make their supply chains safer and fairer. In contrast, Aldi has refused to sign up to basic safety principles and failed in two Federal Court attempts to silence truck drivers on safety.
Aldi is reported to have gained significant market share in Australia as cost-of-living bears down on households.
“Today we’re calling on Aldi to recognise the urgency of this matter and engage in meaningful dialogue with transport workers and their representatives,” said State Secretary Tim Dawson.
“By prioritising supply chain safety, Aldi can set an example for other companies and contribute to the betterment of the entire industry and road safety across Australia. Wealthy retailers have a responsibility to ensure safe, fair working conditions for transport workers in their supply chains, but Aldi has repeatedly buried its head in the sand.
“Workers have continuously invited Aldi to meet and develop a charter on safe supply chains. Today’s protest follows multiple actions around the country calling on the supermarket giant to do the right thing for transport workers and the wider community.
“Aldi’s refusal to be accountable for safety in its supply chain proves why we need Federal Parliament to pass reform to set fair, safe and sustainable standards in transport without delay,” Dawson said.
The crisis in transport has seen 328 transport businesses become insolvent in the last financial year, including Australia’s largest cold chain operator, Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, of which Aldi was a customer.
Administrators said a key reason for Scott’s collapse was “uncommercial customer arrangements.” When wealthy clients profit from the razor-thin margins of transport operators, it puts deadly pressure on drivers and operators to meet unrealistic deadlines and cut corners in safety to stay in business.
Supply chain principles:
- Safety and fairness – accountability for safe, fair work throughout their supply chains
- Transparency – over transport contracts so no worker falls through the cracks
- Collective voice – ensuring transport workers can speak out on pay and safety
- Education and consultation – on issues that impact workers’ pay and safety
- Lifting industry standards – eliminating incentives and pressures to take risks
- Disaster preparedness – equipping workers to safely navigate natural disasters, pandemics and other supply chain disruptions