Aldi: Cut­ting safe cor­ners

Union chal­lenges su­per­mar­ket chain

Big Rigs - - INDUSTRY OPINION - TWU NEWS RICHARD OLSEN TWU NSW State Sec­re­tary

CUT­TING cor­ners on safety, breaches of fa­tigue rules, speed­ing: it’s hard to be­lieve that one ma­jor su­per­mar­ket chain could be re­spon­si­ble for all that.

The next time you walk in to an Aldi su­per­mar­ket, owned and op­er­ated by a Ger­man multi­na­tional com­pany, look around.

Cart­ing all those goods for the re­tail giant is a mas­sive lo­gis­ti­cal op­er­a­tion.

De­spite this, Aldi is now lag­ging be­hind its main com­peti­tors, Wool­worths and Coles, when it comes to act­ing re­spon­si­bly and ap­ply­ing so­lu­tions to its sup­ply chain to help re­duce un­nec­es­sary fa­tal­i­ties.

There is one other prob­lem. Aldi re­fuses to come to the ta­ble to talk about the pres­sure they con­tinue to put on trans­port op­er­a­tors and owner driv­ers across this na­tion by not ad­dress­ing their sup­ply chain is­sues.

The Trans­port Work­ers’ Union is seek­ing Aldi prove that it is a gen­uine and re­spon­si­ble mem­ber of the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity and join with Coles and Wool­worths which are both start­ing to do the right thing by tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their re­spec­tive sup­ply chains.

The pres­sure and the risk that driv­ers face comes about due to sup­ply chain sched­ul­ing pres­sure.

Com­pa­nies like Aldi pe­nalise driv­ers who are late for their slot at the dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre. Make it within the ex­act time win­dow and you’ll be okay, but run late, even through no fault of your own, and you may be pe­nalised by los­ing your next loan.

The Aldi ex­ec­u­tive who thought up that plan has clearly spent lit­tle time in the real world of trans­port.

The pres­sure on a driver who has just hauled a load from in­ter­state is enor­mous. The driver gen­er­ally has no choice but to get the load through on time to pre­vent be­ing pe­nalised be­cause the next fuel bill or truck re­pay­ment is al­ways due.

What gives in this sys­tem is the driver’s own time, of­ten mean­ing re­duc­tions in rest times sim­ply be­cause Aldi be­lieves its own sched­ule is more im­por­tant than the road safety needs of truck driv­ers and other road users.

❝ Run late, even through no fault of your own, and you may be pe­nalised by los­ing your next load...

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