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Aldi’s low-cost supply chain prompts protests

ALDIGerman supermarket giant Aldi’s low-cost grocery model has enabled it to steamroll local competitors, but that strategy may be coming back to bite it today amid protest from the Truckies union over its ‘low-cost’ contracts.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has declared a national day of action against Aldi and is currently facilitating a flash-mob at stores across the country.

Drivers are rocking up to stores to “deliver a message that [Aldi] must stop putting the squeeze on workers and ensure safe working practices down its supply chain.”

The TWU claims that Aldi’s contracts force drivers to neglect maintenance, drive longer than recommended hours, break speed and other road rules and skip mandatory meal breaks.

“This global multinational’s failed solution to its own flawed attitude to safety was to ask a court to force hard-working Australians from raising their concerns publicly,” TWI Victoria/Tasmania branch secretary John Berger said.

“Our drivers have had enough and are struggling to cope with the pressures brought on them by Aldi and, to a driver, they are worried sick about the worsening road safety this mess has created and the fear that fatalities will occur.

“And so we will continue to protest outside Aldi stories until the company starts taking the safety of workers in its supply chain and the travelling public seriously by lifting its attitude to safety standards,” he continued.

The protest comes after the Federal Court rejected an attempt by Aldi to levy an injunction that would have forced drivers from protesting publicly, the TWU said.

When contacted for comment an Aldi spokesperson offered a statement from August in relation to the continuation of TWU protests.

“ALDI strongly denies any suggestion that we place pressure on transport companies or truck drivers to operate unsafely.  We work with our suppliers to set realistic and safe delivery timelines. Furthermore, waiting times at our Distribution Centres are minimal due to the efficient booking and delivery arrangements we have implemented.  These work arrangements are strictly monitored and enforced to ensure driver and community safety,” a spokesperson said.

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