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TWU WIN SETS IMPORTANT PRECEDENT FOR WORKERS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

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The Transport Workers’ Union has began consulting truck drivers following a major win this week in a case taken against supermarket giant Aldi. The ruling by the Federal Court ensures bogus agreements cannot be forced upon employees which deny their rights, National Secretary Tony Sheldon has said.

The ruling overturns a decision of the Fair Work Commission which forced an agreement on employees without proper workplace and union consultation and which denied them a Union negotiated agreement. The TWU opposed the Fair Work Commission’s certification of the Agreement; a position which was vindicated by the Federal Court.

The bogus agreement would have had implications for safety on the roads. It classified drivers of large trucks as store workers so they could be paid below the transport award and denied allowances for having to drive long distances and at night.

“This was a blatant attempt by a wealthy multinational retailer with over $50 billion in revenue globally to deny employees their rights and leave them voiceless. This ruling is a signal to other major companies wishing to do business in Australia: wage theft and denying workers the right to their Union and to support their families will not be tolerated,” said Sheldon.

“Aldi’s intention was to pay truck drivers below the award. This agreement was rushed through without union involvement to reduce and circumvent worker rights, including safe rates of pay and union representation. This is an important win for all involved and the broader community,” said Ray Wyatt, SA/NT Branch Secretary.

The TWU are meeting drivers in SA to discuss the ruling and its implications. The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association has also been involved in the case.

SA truck driver Frank Black said the ruling was important in signaling to drivers that their minimum rights are important for safety. “The last thing we need on the roads of SA is stressed and fatigued drivers working for wealthy companies who chose to rob their pay packets,” he said.