Aldi hits back at TWU on contracts claim

By: Cobey Bartels


Retailer stands by its safety focus, denies unfair treatment and financial pressure in transport deals

Aldi hits back at TWU on contracts claim
TWU supporters march outside of an ALDI store

 

Aldi has hit back at the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) for claiming it is putting financial pressure on fleets and drivers.

The retailer's position was taken in response to yesterday's TWU protest in Western Australia, where the union demanded Aldi end the 'financial squeeze' on transport companies and drivers.

The protest saw more than 150 TWU members and supporters block Hampton Road in South Fremantle, outside an Aldi store.

The union demands the retailer "end the financial squeeze on transport companies and truck drivers, which is leading to deaths on our roads".

"Aldi needs to take responsibility for what is happening in its supply chain," TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said during the protest.

"Cutting transport costs and underpaying truck drivers has massive consequences on our roads.

"This financial pressure leads to trucks not being maintained and drivers forced to speed, drive long hours and skip mandatory rest breaks."

The retailer stands by its safety focus.

"Aldi  categorically denies any suggestion that transport operators are underpaid, or that our drivers are classed as warehouse operators and not as drivers," an Aldi Australia spokesperson says.

"Aldi also denies any suggestion that we place pressure on transport companies or truck drivers to operate unsafely.

"We work with our suppliers to set realistic and safe delivery deadlines, and waiting times at our distribution centres are minimal, due to the efficient booking and delivery arrangements we have implemented."

Sheldon also called out the federal government for abolishing the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), in the process citing Aldi as an example of the "wealthy clients" the tribunal was aimed at holding to account.

"The federal government is also to blame for this problem," he said.

"Last year, it tore down an independent tribunal which was holding wealthy clients like Aldi to account for the financial squeeze on transport that kills and injures people."

Aldi insists transport operators are employed under legal conditions, and says they aren’t pushed to meet deadlines or drive fatigued.

"Drivers do not need to speed to meet deadlines and our rostering arrangements support safe driving hours and sound fatigue management," the spokesperson says.

The retailer says that operators are also given access to a driver trainer and healthy snacks while on the road.

Aldi adds that it participates in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), adhering to the initiative's fatigue and maintenance requirements.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook