Transport union attacks Aldi driver safety
Truck drivers have continued their campaign against global supermarket chain Aldi with protests held across Australia with workers demanding higher safety standards.
Transport Workers' Union national secretary Michael Kaine says there's too much pressure on operators and drivers to cut corners and contracts are often awarded on cost rather than safety.
"Much of the blame must be on the heads of companies like Aldi that are squeezing their supply chains so hard they literally have the blood of Australians on their hands," Mr Kaine told drivers protesting in Sydney.
"These drivers are fed up with their mates dying on the roads, they are tired of hearing about truck crashes happening because of faulty brakes, bald tyres or drivers pushed to speed and drive long hours.
"Big retailers like Aldi can help change our industry and that is why we are submitting our demands in a claim today."
Sixty transport workers died in 2019 an increase from 42 in 2018, the union says.
Aldi says it's asked the union without success for additional details so it can investigate.
"It is our view that the TWU is more interested in leveraging our good brand for their own influence and political gain than addressing transport safety issues," Australia corporate logistics managing director Damien Scheidel said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The TWU has on multiple occasions accused Aldi of deaths on roads, underpaying employees, knowingly placing employees in harm's way, violating heavy vehicle regulations, poorly maintaining our transport fleet, ignoring responsibilities within our supply chain and silencing workers.
"All of these claims are lies and we will not stand accused of such actions."
Mr Scheidel said Aldi pays its 530 transport operators on average 30 per cent above award rates of pay.
Fleet vehicles are not older than four years and are well maintained, he added.