The TWU is demanding supply chain clients urgently sign on to principles for a safer, fairer and more sustainable transport industry, as it’s revealed at a Scott’s creditors’ meeting that unsustainable contracts from wealthy clients were a leading cause for its demise.
Administrators listed “uncommercial customer arrangements as a result of intense market competition” as a key reason for the company being placed into administration, alongside impacts from the pandemic and natural disasters, and the considerable costs associated with maintaining an ageing fleet.
Scott’s is only the latest casualty of the supply chain crisis driven by wealthy retailers and other clients, with razor-thin margins fuelling deadly pressure for drivers and operators to delay maintenance, speed, and drive fatigued to make ends meet. In the 2021 to 2022 financial year almost 200 companies within the sector became insolvent.
This week transport members protested at Aldi stores around the country, demanding the retail giant sign a charter with the TWU committing to lift standards in the industry. Aldi is the only one of the major supermarkets not to have signed a charter with the TWU, with Woolworths and Colies having signed on to lift standards of fairness and safety throughout their supply chains.
TWU Secretary Michael Kaine said the information from today’s meeting highlighted the need for clients like Aldi to urgently commit to principles emphasising fair, safe and sustainable supply chains.
“What we now know as an absolute certainty is that 1500 workers have lost their jobs because of cannibalistic competition driven by wealthy companies, who rake in profits while pushing operators like Scott’s to the brink.”
“In Australia’s most dangerous industry, this intense and destructive competition between operators in a race to the bottom is a recipe for more deaths and more collapses like Scott’s.”
“Drivers and operators are being left to fend for themselves amidst natural disasters, the pandemic and skyrocketing operating and maintenance costs because wealthy clients like Aldi refuse to take responsibility for fair, safe and sustainable supply chains.”
“The Federal Government has indicated that it will introduce legislation for a fairer way forward for the transport industry, and Federal Parliament must back in these life-saving reforms. But today’s creditors’ meeting confirms that Aldi, Amazon and other behemoths must immediately commit to lifting standards in transport before the industry reaches breaking point.”
The TWU is working with companies including Global Express, Linfox, ACFS, Ron Finemore Transport, Pacific National and FBT Transwest to maximise redeployment opportunities for members with the company now ceasing operations.