TRUCK DRIVERS & SUPPORTERS BLOCK ADELAIDE ROADS DURING PROTEST AGAINST ALDI

May 22, 2018

TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 22 MAY 22 2018

Over 100 truck drivers and their supporters angry at Aldi’s refusal to address safety concerns have blocked a busy intersection in Adelaide during a protest. They were joined by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, Transport Workers’ Union national and state activists and international trade unions attending TWU National Council this week.

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Protesters held up traffic during a march around Victoria Square and sat on the road at the intersection of Grote Street for over 20 minutes, calling on Aldi to end its attack on drivers raising safety concerns.

*** Click here for Facebook live video of the protest: https://www.facebook.com/TWUAus/videos/1792768174112959/

“Aldi has a role to play in making our roads safer but it is choosing to put profits before this responsibility. Truck drivers have told us how they are bullied and intimidated to work long hours, well beyond their fatigue limits. We know of transport operators in the Aldi supply chain where safety is compromised because vehicles are not maintained and drivers are not paid fairly. Our community is paying the price for Aldi’s greed. Coles and Woolworths have come to the table and are talking to us about improving safety. Aldi needs to come on board,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.

Aldi last August began a Federal Court case attacking the right of drivers to speak out and protest about safety in its supply chain. This case continues before the court. Hundreds of truck drivers across Australia have held several co-ordinated protests against Aldi over the past year.

“At the heart of the problem with retailers like Aldi is the move two years ago by the Federal Government to let wealthy retailers off the hook over safety in their supply chains. When it shut down an independent road safety watchdog scrutiny on the pressures in transport which cause deaths and injuries ended. But drivers will not allow the likes of Aldi get away with it. They will continue to protest despite Aldi’s attacks because it is their lives and the lives of people they share the roads with that are being put at risk,” said Sheldon.

The number of people killed in truck crashes is increasing. In the 12 months to last September there was a 9.2% increase in deaths from articulated truck crashes, according to data from Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.  Since the Federal Government tore down the road safety watchdog, 371 people have died in truck crashes. The job for drivers is also getting more dangerous. Safe Work Australia data for 2017 showed almost 40% of all workplace deaths involved a transport worker.

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