Accusations of “substantial” safety breaches have sparked multiple protests around the country by fired-up truck drivers against supermarket chain Aldi.
The Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon told Triple M that alleged “economic pressures” from Aldi placed on their truck drivers workforce included skipping meal breaks, breaking speed limits and other road rules and failing to maintain upkeep on vehicles – in order to meet targets.
Mr Sheldon said Aldi had a “vicious approach” against those speaking out, noting federal court action to gag the TWU from commenting on working conditions and pay rates was challenged – and defeated – in the first round of hearings.
“They’re trying to shut down drivers from speaking out, they’re trying to shut people down from speaking out on behalf of whistle blowers, in effect stopping making our roads safer,” he said.
“Drivers have had a gutful of having this pressure applied to both truck drivers that are directly employed by Aldi, including drivers that are employed in the Aldi supply chain.”
Mr Sheldon urged Aldi to look at workplace protocols embraced by Coles and Woolworths, where supermarket competitors have sat down to explore ways of improving the supply chain, and ease the pressure on truck drivers.
The TWU protests took place this afternoon in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
Triple M has reached out to Aldi Australia for comment.