TIP TOP DRIVERS TRAVEL TO CANBERRA TO DEMAND ACTION ON SAFETY & EXPLOITATION

Dec 6, 2017

TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 6 December 2017

Exploited owner drivers working for bread manufacturer Tip Top are in Canberra today demanding that the Federal Government reinstate legislation that dealt exploitation and safety risks in transport supply chains.

Tip Top, which operates in the Aldi supply chain, has been exposed over forcing drivers to struggle with weekly cuts to pay of up to $1000 a week. Last night ABC 7.30 detailed how the stress of the job has resulted in the death of one driver while another driver dying of cancer was hounded by Tip Top to sign a contract which would reduce his rates.  A raid by the RMS on a western Sydney Tip Top depot last Friday showed maintenance on trucks is also not being carried out, with 25 defect notices issued out of 46 trucks inspected.

“You feel pushed to breaking point just to get the job done. We’re working long hours six and seven days a week and Tip Top are cutting our rates. At the same time costs and overheads are going up,” said Tip Top driver Paul Clapson.

“I drove four hours for Tip Top last Anzac Day and ended up getting paid $23. It’s a struggle to stay safe and keep a business and a family going on that kind of return,” said Tip Top driver Mark Goldfinch.

“Not only is this exploitation of drivers wrong, it is also compromising safety on our roads. Drivers are being pushed to work fatigued and trucks are not being maintained. There has been an increase in the number of people killed in truck crashes while wealthy clients like Tip Top are getting away scot-free. Michaelia Cash and Malcolm Turnbull tore down the hope these drivers had for ending their exploitation when they abolished the independent road safety tribunal,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.

Drivers are pushing for federally-binding rules which can ensure decent standards across the industry and hold wealthy clients at the top of the supply chain to account for low cost contracts. These low cost contracts are forcing transport operators and drivers to delay maintenance, speed, drive long hours and skip mandatory rest breaks. Tip Top is a subsidiary of Associated British Products, which just weeks ago reported over $AUS27 billion in profit.

Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks have increased by 9.4% this year, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Safe Work Australia data shows that almost 40% of all workplace deaths involved transport workers this year. This is up from one in four in 2015.

© 2016 Transport Workers' Union of Australia.
Authorised by Tony Sheldon, TWU National Secretary, 388-390 Sussex St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia.