April 18, 2023

Making our claim

The collapse of Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics has proven that Safe Rates must be paid by wealthy clients at the top of the supply chain. “Uncommercial customer arrangements” was a leading cause of Scott’s going into liquidation, according to administrators. 

In other words, Scott’s – Australia’s largest cold chain operator with no direct competitor – has become another casualty of the supply chain crisis that is fuelled by profit-hungry retailers and other clients who squeeze transport contracts. 

We are working with transport companies Global Express, Linfox, ACFS, Ron Finemore Transport, Pacific National and FBT Transwest on redeployment opportunities for 1500 Scott’s workers, but the company won’t be the last to collapse without urgent action.

It is clearer than ever that clients have to step up and take responsibility for safety, fairness and sustainability in their supply chains. 

That is why in March, the TWU served a claim on 40 major retailers, food and beverage manufacturers and agricultural companies to sign up to six principles to lift standards in their supply chains.

The problem with Aldi

One of the largest of those clients is Aldi, which unlike Woolworths and Coles has refused to sign a charter with the TWU to lift standards in supply chains. It even tried to silence truckies who were speaking out on safety – and failed in the Federal Court, twice.

As part of the claim on clients, hundreds of TWU delegates protested at Aldi stores across the country to demand the supermarket giant sign up to the principles.  

In Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, transport workers sent a strong message to wealthy companies like Aldi raking in profits while transport operators and drivers are pushed to the brink: enough is enough.

The Federal Government has committed to setting enforceable standards in transport to make the industry safer, fairer and more sustainable. But the collapse of Scott’s shows that there is no time to waste: clients must urgently come forward and be accountable for their supply chains, and we must continue to hold them to account until they do.


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