Menu

Coles ‘risks lives’: TWU

Coles

A TWU Coles protest in Queensland. Image from www.twuqld.asn.au

National Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) Tony Sheldon said yesterday  supermarket giant Coles was responsible for an increased risk of truck crashes on Australian roads, by forcing drivers to speed, drive unsafe hours and carry overweight loads.

Speaking in Perth outside the Wesfarmers AGM – owner of Coles – Mr Sheldon said one in four Coles supply chain drivers felt under pressure to speed while driving for Coles.

‘Another one in four drivers say they’re under pressure to carry illegally overweight loads, and half are pressured to skip rest breaks and stay behind the wheel,’ Mr Sheldon said.

‘Transport is a dangerous industry.

‘330 people die in truck-related accidents each year. Truck crashes affect the entire travelling public.

‘Yet Coles’s casual disregard for safety is making crashes more likely.

‘No driver wants to drive unsafe – it’s their lives at risk.

‘Coles earnings last year were $1.53 billion – up 84 per cent in just four years.

‘But we’re seeing continued pressure to cut corners and cut costs in transport. And that risks lives.

‘Many companies in the Coles supply chain operate on small margins. They can’t afford to lose Coles contracts, and they can’t afford to argue back when the pressure comes to speed or cut maintenance.

‘We’re here today to call on Coles to put the public first, to stop putting pressure on drivers to speed or carry unsafe loads, and to help prevent truck crashes by offering fair conditions to workers in the Coles supply chain.”

‘And we’re calling on shareholders to change Coles’s culture to one of fairness for workers and safety on our roads.’

Mr Sheldon was joined at the Wesfarmers AGM by interstate driver John Waltis who said pressures in the industry included impossible demands and unpaid waiting time of up to 20 hours a week.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Vast Ballina and Falls Festival