Sterle puts top supply chain firms on payments notice

Senator welcomes wage theft crackdown but seeks federal focus on transport

Sterle puts top supply chain firms on payments notice
Glenn Sterle


Senator Glenn Sterle has used the ongoing ‘wage theft’ issue to warn what he sees as supply chain predators that they will be exposed.

Sterle, the shadow assistant minister for road safety who chairs the Senate inquiry into road transport industry, was reacting to a report in the West Australian newspaper that reflected the federal government’s stated attitude to worker underpayments.

"I read with interest in the West Australian today that the Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter, has put corporate Australia, or as I like to refer to them, the economic managers at the top of the supply chain, on notice amid more news of wage theft overnight," he says.

"After it was revealed that Coles ripped off more than $15 million from its staff, the Minister warned companies that if they are found to have underpaid their staff, they will face the ‘most vigorous’ wage theft laws ‘Australia’s ever seen’. This is a good thing for Australian workers.

"But it must not stop here."

Read the welcome given to swift-payments pledges, here

Sterle then proceeds to link wage theft with the effects of extended payment terms affecting the industry.

"We in the transport industry know that wage theft in the transport industry has been rampant for years," he says.

"And has anything been done to hold the economic managers at the top of the supply chain in the transport industry to account? No.

"If Minister Porter was serious, and I don’t believe he is, he would act against clients of transport companies who squeeze the financial living daylights out of the supply chain down.  

"And do we hear anything from the federal government about wage theft from our truckies, owner drivers and trucking companies? No!

"Wage theft and lengthy payment terms are both results from the dodgy management of those at the top of the supply chain who continue to squeeze everything they can out of the transport industry.

"These companies know who they are and I will continue to call them out until they change their bad management habits."


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