The protest follows a Federal Court rejection on Wednesday of Aldi’s bid for an injunction to stop drivers protesting its poor safety practices and stopping them from revealing information about rates and conditions in its supply chain. Drivers at the protest called on Aldi to stop trying to silence them.
“Aldi must face up to the role they play in creating pressure on transport. Wealthy retailers through their low cost contracts are forcing transport companies and drivers to not maintain vehicles, drive long hours, speed and skip mandatory rest breaks. This pressure is killing people on our roads and leaving families and communities devastated. Aldi is refusing to come to the table and discuss how they can improve safety in transport. We are here today to send them a loud message that this is not acceptable,” said TWU National Assistant Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Truck crash fatalities are increasing as are the number of truck drivers being killed. Aldi has got to take responsibility for the role it plays. The Federal Government must also shoulder the blame: it tore down an independent tribunal last year which was holding wealthy retailers like Aldi to account for safety in transport. The Government’s own report showed the tribunal was cutting truck crash deaths by 28%*,” said TWU NSW Secretary Richard Olsen.
“Aldi cannot silence drivers. We are on the road every day and we see the pressure transport workers are under. We want Aldi to be part of the solution and get on board to stop the carnage,” said driver Mark Trevillian.
Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks has increased by over 7% this year, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Safe work Australia data shows that 40% of all workplace deaths involved transport workers. This is up from one in three transport workers last year and one in four in 2015.
Aldi is appealing a separate Federal Court decision which struck down a bogus enterprise agreement voted on just two members of staff. The agreement denied minimum award rates and classified drivers of large trucks as store workers.