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Protesting transport workers call on new Aldi CEO to commit to supply chain principles

The TWU is using a new Aldi CEO to push its safe supply chain agenda as it continues lobbying for federal parliament intervention

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) says hundreds of transport workers will protest at Aldi Mt Druitt calling on Aldi to sign up to principles on safe, fair and sustainable supply chains, ahead of the tabling of legislation to set enforceable standards in road transport.

Transport workers are calling on newly-appointed Aldi Australia CEO Anna McGrath to follow the lead of supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths and work towards a charter with the TWU on safety and fairness in their supply chain.

The TWU says Aldi’s refusal to work with transport workers on safety in their supply chain, and two failed attempts in the Federal Court to silence truck drivers on safety, shows why it is urgent for Federal Parliament to pass legislation to enforce safe, fair and sustainable standards for all transport workers.

In the last financial year, there were 347 insolvencies in the transport industry, including Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics.

“With a new CEO, and legislation on the cusp of being introduced to Federal Parliament, participating in positive action to improve safety and fairness in its supply chain is the logical approach and the responsible approach for Aldi to take,” TWU NSW/ Queensland state secretary Richard Olsen says.

“Every day of delay is another day that transport workers are under pressure from the top of the supply chain. While wealthy clients like Aldi reap profits, it’s workers and operators who end up footing the bill, teetering on thin margins and under pressure to delay maintenance, speed and drive fatigued to make ends meet.

RELATED ARTICLE: Aldi workers protest over supply chain principles

“This whole industry is crying out for change. Aldi can step in today to ensure it plays its part in making sure its supply chain is safe, fair and sustainable.”

The TWU says Aldi has failed to respond to a set of safety principles put to them in March, along with 39 other retailers, food and beverage and agricultural companies.

Aldi has previously hit back at the TWU, saying it refutes all allgeations made by the union and that it takes proactive measures to ensure driver safety is constantly maintained.

“The TWU continues to make unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about the driving conditions and practices of our team and of our driver network,” Aldi says.

“Given the seriousness of these claims, we’ve repeatedly sought details from the TWU so a thorough investigation can be conducted. To date, no details have been provided. We’ve tried on numerous occasions to have productive conversations with the TWU, all of which have been refused by them.

“Aldi already has a safety and corporate responsibility charter in place to build responsible and strong compliance practices.”

Olsen says Aldi should join in on urgent transport reform.

“This industry is united as it has never been united before, and Aldi now has the opportunity to join that wave of support and work towards reducing the crisis in transport, instead of profiting from it,” he says.

“We’re calling on Federal Parliament to urgently back in that legislation when it is tabled.”

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