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Aldi truck drivers to strike over claims of long hours

  • Aldi truck drivers are on strike across Australia over alleged ‘unsafe practices’
  • Union secretary said drivers are ‘exhausted’, putting others on the road at risk 
  • The German discount chain said drivers haven’t provided any evidence 
  • The chain is gearing up to open their 500th store since first opening in 2001

Brianne Tolj

and
Kirby Spencer For Daily Mail Australia

Aldi truck drivers are on strike across Australia after they claim the discount grocery chain forced them to work ‘extraordinary hours’, leaving them exhausted and putting other lives ‘directly at risk.’

Tony Sheldon, the Transport Workers’ Union national secretary, told the Today Show on Wednesday employees were forced to walk out after Aldi refused to meet with truck drivers and trucking companies to discuss their ‘unsafe practices’.

‘We’re finding Aldi is turning around putting incredible pressure on truck drivers and trucking companies. Drivers are fatigued, they’re exhausted and the company refuses to enter into an arrangement to make sure its supply chain is safe.’

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Tony Sheldon (pictured), the Transport Workers' Union national secretary, said employees were forced to walk out after Aldi refused to meet with truck drivers and trucking companies to discuss their 'unsafe practices'

Tony Sheldon (pictured), the Transport Workers' Union national secretary, said employees were forced to walk out after Aldi refused to meet with truck drivers and trucking companies to discuss their 'unsafe practices'

Tony Sheldon (pictured), the Transport Workers’ Union national secretary, said employees were forced to walk out after Aldi refused to meet with truck drivers and trucking companies to discuss their ‘unsafe practices’

An Aldi (stock) spokesperson told the Today Show the TWU has refused to provide evidence to support their claims

An Aldi (stock) spokesperson told the Today Show the TWU has refused to provide evidence to support their claims

An Aldi (stock) spokesperson told the Today Show the TWU has refused to provide evidence to support their claims

Mr Sheldon said drivers and their trucks are being overworked, placing not just their own lives but others in danger.

‘We’re seeing mums and dads being slaughtered on our roads because Aldi has refused to turn around and take responsibility.’

‘They’re a big player, they’re an important player and they’re expanding incredibly cross the country without taking responsibility for the danger their putting on our roads,’ he said ahead of the chain’s 500th store opening.

He claimed managers had pressured drivers and used stand over tactics to make them do the long hours.

An Aldi spokesperson told the Today Show the TWU has refused to provide evidence to support their claims, but Mr Sheldon says the company has refused to ‘with the union except through federal court actions.’

In August, hundreds of truck drivers protested an Aldi store in western Sydney claiming the supermarket giant is compromising safety through low-cost contracts.

In August, hundreds of truck drivers protested an Aldi store in western Sydney claiming the supermarket giant is compromising safety through low-cost contracts (pictured)

In August, hundreds of truck drivers protested an Aldi store in western Sydney claiming the supermarket giant is compromising safety through low-cost contracts (pictured)

In August, hundreds of truck drivers protested an Aldi store in western Sydney claiming the supermarket giant is compromising safety through low-cost contracts (pictured)

The union accuses the supermarket chain of using its wealth and size to pressure drivers (pictured is a protester) 

The union accuses the supermarket chain of using its wealth and size to pressure drivers (pictured is a protester) 

The union accuses the supermarket chain of using its wealth and size to pressure drivers (pictured is a protester) 

It was reported this week the German discount retailer is creeping up on Coles and Woolworths have been revealed by its Australian CEO Tom Daunt (pictured) 

It was reported this week the German discount retailer is creeping up on Coles and Woolworths have been revealed by its Australian CEO Tom Daunt (pictured) 

It was reported this week the German discount retailer is creeping up on Coles and Woolworths have been revealed by its Australian CEO Tom Daunt (pictured) 

It was reported this week the German discount retailer is creeping up on Coles and Woolworths have been revealed by its Australian CEO Tom Daunt. 

Ahead of the opening of the country’s 500th store, Mr Daunt told Nine News that it was a combination of better choices and faster service that helped satisfy customers. 

Since first opening its doors in Australia back in 2001, Aldi has gone on to launch stores in NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD, SA and WA.

During that time it has also challenged Woolworths and Coles for cheap prices, taking almost $8 billion in sales.

Offering superior products instead of a large range of choices was one of the secrets to its success Mr Daunt said.

‘We don’t offer 12 or 15 peanut butters, we offer two – smooth or crunchy – but we make sure that is a really high quality product,’ he said.

Offering superior products instead of a large range of choices was one of the secrets, with Mr Daunt saying they offered only two types of peanut butter but a 'high quality product' (stock image)

Offering superior products instead of a large range of choices was one of the secrets, with Mr Daunt saying they offered only two types of peanut butter but a 'high quality product' (stock image)

Offering superior products instead of a large range of choices was one of the secrets, with Mr Daunt saying they offered only two types of peanut butter but a ‘high quality product’ (stock image)

Although packaging their fruit and vegetables in plastic increased the cost 'incrementally', Mr Daunt said it helped keep the products fresher and away from germs

Although packaging their fruit and vegetables in plastic increased the cost 'incrementally', Mr Daunt said it helped keep the products fresher and away from germs

Although packaging their fruit and vegetables in plastic increased the cost ‘incrementally’, Mr Daunt said it helped keep the products fresher and away from germs

Similarly, he said that although packaging their fruit and vegetables in plastic increased cost ‘incrementally’ it helped keep the products fresher and away from germs.

And when it came to processing a person’s grocery load, longer checkouts also helped Aldi in their bid to outdo the competition.

‘It is designed to be fast… we have physically long check-outs but you’ll notice hopefully the queues are not long either,’ Mr Daunt said.

‘(Customers) are benefiting because the increased levels of competition we’ve brought has really forced all market participants to sharpen up.’

When it came to processing a person's grocery load, longer checkouts also helped Aldi in their bid to outdo the competition

When it came to processing a person's grocery load, longer checkouts also helped Aldi in their bid to outdo the competition

When it came to processing a person’s grocery load, longer checkouts also helped Aldi in their bid to outdo the competition

The low-cost retail outlet has been steadily growing in the market, with an extra $1billion in annual revenue this year, according to The New Daily

Smaller stores such as IGA and SPAR also fell under Aldi’s hold, with the top three grocers controlling more than three quarters of the market.

Since 2012, the German chain has doubled its revenue, from $4.2 billion to $8.5 billion.

The study, from IBISWorld, credited overhauling their private-label products an important part of their success.  

The low-cost retail outlet has been steadily growing in the market, having doubled its annual revenue from $4.2 billion to $8.5 billion since 2012 (stock image)

The low-cost retail outlet has been steadily growing in the market, having doubled its annual revenue from $4.2 billion to $8.5 billion since 2012 (stock image)

The low-cost retail outlet has been steadily growing in the market, having doubled its annual revenue from $4.2 billion to $8.5 billion since 2012 (stock image)

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