Aldi eyes EWDs in fleet management move

Supermarket chain looks to technical solution as TWU takes a swipe

Aldi eyes EWDs in fleet management move
Aldi is spruiking safe driving


Aldi is awaiting National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) approval before rolling out Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) as part of a fleet management tool it is implementing.

The move comes as the Transport Workers Union (TWU) again ramps up its campaign against the grocery and consumer goods chain.

"If you care about the safety of your team, have nothing to hide and want to drive meaningful safety improvements in the transport industry, then fleet management tools and electronic work diaries are a logical step forward," Aldi Australia logistics director Kelly Wells says.

"Our move to electronic work diaries will assist our operators by reducing the complexity and administrative burden that the current paper based system presents. 

"In-vehicle driver information will also allow our team to plan their work and rest breaks and act when alerted to imminent working hour limits."

Read how the TWU’s stoush with Aldi all began, starting in WA, here

In its impending submission to the Senate’s ‘Inquiry into the Importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry’, the retailer will say believes that technology will continue to play a key role in driving improved safety on our roads. 

It argues that:

  • the purchase and roll-out of this new fleet management tool is one of many ongoing safety programs led by Aldi to ensure it supports a safe work environment for its operators
  • the move to EWDs will not reveal compliance issues as the company already requires all drivers to maintain log books, irrespective of distance travelled, and they run audits on all records
  • schedulers are attuned to managing run allocations to give drivers an average shift that is well below the upper limit of hours under Basic Fatigue Management. Converting this data to digital files will simply improve the process and provide transparency for regulators and authorities if required.

"Our rostering arrangements support safe driving hours and fatigue management practices, and our policies and processes are strictly enforced to ensure driver and public safety," Wells says.

"Each of our distribution centres has a qualified driver trainer whose role is to oversee and train all staff, as well as provide ongoing support for drivers.

"Our drivers conduct supervised exercises before commencing their shifts, and work diary pages are continuously monitored via software which helps Aldi ensure compliance with fatigue regulations under the HVNL.   

"Moving to electronic work diaries is a logical next step to help us maintain a safety first culture for our operators."

Meanwhile, the TWU is central to a Nine News Perth exposé to be aired at 6pm today.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine is an unnamed commentator in an online teaser released overnight for the report.

Nine News Perth says the report focuses on "whistleblower footage exposing incorrectly stored fresh produce and major safety issues" and repeats the union line that Aldi is "going to court to silence its workers".

"This evidence really blows the lid on the Aldi supply chain," Kaine says to the camera.

"If you’re a shopper at Aldi, you should have serious concerns here."

A time of writing, the Facebook teaser had 379 comments and numerous replies, many accusing major supermarkets of suffering similar shortfalls and some accuse the same supermarkets of being behind the report while offering no evidence.


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