At One o’clock this afternoon, the Transport Workers’ Union will “Sit down for Safety” at Coles in Brisbane’s West End.

Coinciding with the Wesfarmers (Coles) AGM in Perth, the TWU national day of action against Coles in response to their continued refusal to stop putting pressure on their retail drivers.

“Coles are using its economic power to squeeze its suppliers, and drive down conditions and safety standards,” TWU QLD Branch Secretary Peter Biagini said.

“The pressures this major retail company are putting on drivers are resulting in deaths and heartache for families, and that’s why we’ve been campaigning for Safe Rates and demand Coles to take responsibility and stop putting the squeeze on truckies and the supply chain.”

“We need to work together to create a safer transport industry.”

Driving a truck is Australia’s most dangerous job, with a death rate that is 10 times the national average. Every year 330 people die and thousands are injured in truck crashes.

To make things worse, Coles do not even recognise their own online delivery drivers as drivers.

“Coles refuse to recognise their drivers as drivers, which means they are subject to the dangerous transport conditions without the rights, safety and remuneration that should come with it,” Mr Biagini said.

“Coles must take responsibility for what happens to their drivers on the road.”

Further pain for could come to Queensland families following a review by the Newman Government on the Queensland Workers’ Compensation legislation.

“We urge the Newman Government to not make any changes to the workers compensation,” Mr Biagini said.

“It operates at no cost to the government and is important to workers and their families. We need to ensure workers have their rights, particularly with workers compensation which includes journeys to and from work and the ability to take negligent employers, such as Coles, to court to pursue damages.”


CONTACT: Mick O’Brien – 0411875910

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