TWU protests Aldi's 'refusal' to discuss safety improvements

By: Cobey Bartels

Supermarket denies claims, says it complies with maintenance and fatigue rules under NHVAS

TWU protests Aldi's 'refusal' to discuss safety improvements
Union members held a protest outside an Aldi store yesterday.


Over 500 members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) marched outside an Aldi store in western Sydney yesterday, protesting against safety issues resulting from low-cost contracts.

TWU representatives say the supermarket chain pressures drivers into unsafe practices to meet tight deadlines, potentially resulting in fatigue law breaches and speeding.

The protest follows a recent Federal Court rejection of Aldi’s bid for an injunction to stop drivers protesting and stopping them from revealing information about rates and conditions in its supply chain.

"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," TWU national assistant secretary Michael Kaine said in a statement.

"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."

The supermarket chain denies claims made about pressure placed on drivers, and ensures they're compliant with their transport obligations, an Aldi spokesperson tells ATN.

"Aldi strongly denies any suggestion that we place pressure on transport companies or truck drivers to operate unsafely," the spokesperson says.

"Aldi participates in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and our maintenance and fatigue management programs for our fleet and drivers operate in accordance with this Scheme.

"We closely monitor the transport function and conduct a comprehensive annual audit as required under the NHVAS to ensure compliance in every aspect of our operation.

"We value our employees and pride ourselves on paying our staff well."

However, the union accuses the company of putting drivers’ safety at risk.

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