Sterle in huge Toll and Coles swipe over subbie dealings

Parkinson distribution centre freight rates dispute highlighted

Sterle in huge Toll and Coles swipe over subbie dealings
Glenn Sterle


Senator Glenn Sterle is taking Toll and Coles to task over what he sees as subcontractor bullying at the latter’s distribution centre in Parkinson, Queensland.  

A former road-train driver and senior state union official, Sterle describes the alleged actions as devastating to the subbies involved. 

He claims having spoken to a number of the effected parties and charges the pair with:

  • not passing on any rate increases to subcontractors since October 2017
  • requiring subcontractor investment in new prime movers to "continue working for them"
  • cutting pallet rates by between 25-60 per cent.

"I can assure you they are devastated that Toll and Coles have done this to them," Sterle says of the subcontractors.

"For consistency, whether you have bought that new truck or you still have not decided you are also going to cop the rate deduction," he adds.

Coles signed a charter on standards with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) last year and Sterle bemoans an industry standards malaise he attributes to an situation like this one.

Read about Coles's charter on standerds deal with the TWU, here

"Now, you don’t have to have a PhD in economics to work out what comes next," he continues.

"Some subbies will have nowhere to go, some will pack up and leave and the poor devils who have bought the new trucks will be screwed both financially and mentally.

"And I guarantee, bottom feeders will move in.

"These will be the ones who own the trucks but employ drivers on contract.

"That is the illegal system of demanding the driver has an ABN.

"If freight rates are reduced by between 25-60 per cent there is no way drivers will be paid properly."

Sterle ends with a renewed call for accountability at the top of the supply chain.

"Hey Coles – how does this behaviour fit into your road safety message? I’m looking forward to hearing from you," he adds, invoking Coles' and Toll’s recent involvement in the We Need Space industry initiative.

ATN has sought comment from Toll, Coles and the TWU.


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


Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire