The TWU is talking to other major operators including Global Express, Linfox, ACFS, Ron Finemore Transport and FBT Transwest to maximise redeployment opportunities for members at Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics following the announcement the company will be liquidated.
The loss of Australia’s largest cold chain operator, of which there is no direct competitor, will cause supply chain chaos, highlighting the importance of Federal Parliament passing reform to make transport work fairer, safer and more sustainable as soon as possible.
The TWU says the collapse of Scott’s is a tragedy of a supply chain crisis caused by wealthy clients like Aldi squeezing transport contracts and profiting off the razor-thin margins of operators.
Aldi is the only of the three major supermarkets not to have signed a charter with the TWU on supply chain transparency, fairness and safety.
It has now been revealed that these supply chain pressures from clients led to Scott’s relying on a complex web of high-leverage finance and loan companies.
In the 2021-2022 financial year, almost 200 companies in the transport sector became insolvent, while major clients at the top of the supply chain have made mammoth profits.
Already in 2023, 41 people have lost their lives on Australian roads, 9 of them truck drivers. The deadly impacts on drivers and other road-users will only worsen without urgent reform to make wealthy companies accountable for the strain they impose upon supply chains.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said Scott’s liquidation is a distressing warning that more businesses and lives would be at risk without action.
“There will be 1500 devastated families today as workers stare down the direct consequences of wealthy companies like Aldi squeezing the life out of transport contracts. Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics is a major casualty of an industry-wide crisis that’s pushing operators and drivers to the brink, which will have an enormous impact on our essential grocery supply chains.
“We’ll be doing as much as we can to make sure workers receive their owed entitlements, and have already begun work to find redeployment opportunities with other operators where possible.”
“Scott’s is not the first transport company to be pushed out of the market by profit-hungry clients at the top of supply chains, and it won’t be the last unless we enact reform to ensure those clients are accountable for fair, safe and sustainable transport contracts.”
“Last year the Federal Government committed to setting enforceable minimum standards in transport. The transport industry is at crisis point – we need the Federal Parliament to urgently pass this reform to save businesses and lives.”