August 16, 2017

Enough is Enough: truckies protest Aldi’s squeeze

Approximately 100 workers made their way to Regent Park and protested outside for 30 minutes to ensure Aldi heard their demands for a safer industry.

“Aldi is refusing our requests to sit down and talk about the pressure they are putting transport operators and truck drivers under. They are refusing to accept that this pressure is leading to horrific deaths and injuries on our roads. We are here today to say we are not going away until they face up to the carnage they are contributing to,” TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said.

There has been a recent spike in deaths from truck crashes. This year almost 40% of all workplace deaths involved transport workers, with 46 transport worker deaths out of a total of 110 workplace deaths. Last year, more than one-in-three workplace deaths involved transport workers. Previously around one in four workplace deaths involved transport workers. Other road users are caught up in the carnage with an increase in overall truck crash deaths.

“The Federal Government is also to blame for this problem. Last year it axed an independent tribunal which was holding wealthy clients like Aldi to account. The increase in deaths should not come as any surprise to the Government. Its own report showed the tribunal’s orders would cut truck crashes by 28%*. Transport workers are paying with their lives for this Government’s mismanagement.”

“Transport workers in Aldi’s supply chain are constantly faced with pressure from above, leading to trucks not being maintained, drivers forced to speed, drive long hours and skip mandatory rest breaks. This squeeze has got to stop, not just for truckies but for every road user,” TWU South Australia and Northern Territory Branch Secretary Ian Smith said.

“Aldi last year attempted to pay truck drivers less than their already woefully low rate by misclassifying them in an Enterprise Agreement which, fortunately, the Federal Court struck down.”

Workers shouted a demand for ‘Safe Rates’ and said they would continue to take action until their concerns were addressed.

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