The following materials can be quoted and attributed to Damien Scheidel, Managing Director, Corporate Logistics, ALDI Australia. 

Why is ALDI in Court with the Transport Workers Union?

As an Australian business employing thousands of people, we will not sit idle while our practices, people and professionalism is misrepresented in the most crass and callous of manners. The TWU has on multiple occasions accused ALDI of deaths on roads, underpaying employees, knowingly placing employees in harm’s way, violating heavy vehicle regulations, poorly maintaining our transport fleet, ignoring responsibilities within our supply chain and silencing workers. All of these claims are lies and we will not stand accused of such actions. This is why we are in court.

We have contacted the TWU on more than ten occasions requesting details of their claims to ensure we can investigate the alleged safety concerns immediately. Not once have these details been forthcoming. It is our view that the TWU are more interested in leveraging our good brand for their own influence and political gain than addressing transport safety issues. If the TWU are withholding valid safety claims regarding our operations, they should share them and we’ll investigate them immediately.

About ALDI’s Transport Operations

We are proud of our transport operations and transport employees and we operate at, and frequently beyond, the industry’s best practise. We believe in fair pay for work and employ our transport operators under Enterprise Agreements approved by the Fair Work Commission. The rates of pay set out for our transport operators compare favourably to the award, on average our operators earn more than 30% above the Road Transport and Distribution Award of 2010.

Under our Enterprise Agreements we provide for up to 50 ordinary hours per week which enables superannuation and leave to be accrued over these hours rather than a standard 38-hour week. Our transport operators receive 5 weeks of paid annual leave a year (above the usual 4 weeks) and receive this irrespective of work performed part-time. We do not employ a casual workforce. Unless our transport operators elect to have part time arrangements, we provide guaranteed 40 or 45-hour work weeks and labour hire recruits are converted to permanent employees on average 3 months after their engagement.

We work to keep our people safe by training and paying them well, running a modern fleet of vehicles, observing good maintenance practices, providing easy hazard reporting mechanisms and building a safety first culture.

ALDI actively promotes a whistle-blower policy to allow drivers to comfortably voice issues. The ALDI Alertline has been in operation since 2013 and provides a platform for employees and external parties (contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders) to raise concerns confidentially, if they do not feel comfortable raising their concerns directly with ALDI. The Alertline details are clearly on display for our employees and supplier drivers at all distribution centres.

We work alongside our drivers to develop safe and efficient route plans that help to reduce their total kilometres and drive times. We have implemented streamlined booking and delivery arrangements at each of our distribution centres, which ensures delivering vehicles are attended to within the nominated delivery window they selected, thereby reducing wait times.

We require all ALDI drivers to maintain work diaries and run regular audits on 100% of work diaries. Schedulers are attuned to managing run allocations to give drivers an average shift that is well below the upper limit of hours under Basic Fatigue Management. The last external audit of all ALDI’s fleet operations raised not a single safety concern.

Our commitment to safety extends to our supply chain

Our commitment to safety and fairness extends beyond our own employees and applies across our supply chain, undertaking measures to ensure all our suppliers and logistics providers meet their requirements under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Fair Work Act.

We also leverage a Tender Audit Checklist to ensure that any companies tendering for our business comply with their requirements for pay and conditions under the law. This checklist is either certified by the tenderer’s in-house legal department or by an independent, suitably qualified legal, audit, or compliance professional with expertise in Australian workplace relations and laws.

Key facts

– ALDI pays its 530 transport operators on average 30% above award rates of pay

– ALDI’s fleet of vehicles (269) is on average 4 years old

– ALDI employs driver trainers and mechanics at all 8 distribution centres

– ALDI is an advocate for the mandatory introduction of Electronic Work Diaries (EWD)

– ALDI has a Alertline and promotes a whistleblower policy for drivers to comfortably voice issues

– ALDI drivers maintain work diaries on all trips completed

– ALDI audits 100% of work diaries to maintain safety standards

– ALDI audits the performance of all our domestic freight providers ensuring compliance with the law

– ALDI maintains a Heavy Vehicle Transport Services Safety and Corporate Responsibility Charter with its supply chain operators