TWU Demands Transport Reform After Cold Chain Giant Enters Admin

Transport Workers' Union

The TWU is working with KordaMentha to ensure hundreds of transport workers are prioritised throughout the administration process for Scott's Refrigerated Logistics, Australia's largest cold chain transport operator.

The union says the operator is the largest of many casualties of cost-cutting in transport supply chains, which puts safety and businesses at risk. Transport is Australia's deadliest industry and is in the top 10 industries for insolvencies.

Razor-thin margins are common for transport operators, despite the booming profits of major retailers, such as Aldi – one of Scott's Refrigerated's clients – which is estimated to have reaped the rewards of an 8.4% profit margin in 2022, far higher than Australia's other supermarkets.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said a decade of government inaction on the crisis in transport left operators fending for themselves in a broken market.

"This is another tragedy of the untrammelled commercial power at the top of transport supply chains. Retailers are reaping the gains from razor-thin margins while operators and drivers collapse under the strain.

"The TWU is working with KordaMentha to ensure workers are prioritised in what we hope will be a sale to a responsible buyer.

"Sadly for our union, almost a decade of a government which preferred a bystander approach of 'leave it to the market' has meant that we are experienced in ensuring workers are prioritised through an administration process, such as that of Virgin Australia in 2020.

"We urgently need reform in transport to ensure wealthy clients at the top of supply chains are accountable for fair, safe and sustainable transport operations for the freight of their goods.

"The Federal Government has committed to setting enforceable standards in transport. We urge the passing of this reform through Federal Parliament as soon as possible to save lives and businesses in transport," he said.

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