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Coles and TWU agree on safety, fairness for supply chain workers

Supermarket company, Coles, and the Transport Workers’ Union have signed two Statements of Principles that will ensure safe and fair conditions for workers in the Coles supply and on-demand economy.

The first Statement, signed at TWU National Council in Adelaide by Coles Managing Director, John Durkan, and TWU National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, includes five principles to ensure safety and fairness for transport workers within the Coles supply chain.

These principles include: the ongoing promotion of safety and fairness; transparency on supply chain information; ensuring workers are treated fairly and have the right opportunity to contribute to a collective voice; education, training and consultation of workers on safety, and initiatives to ensure safety in the industry more broadly. The five principles will underpin a Charter between Coles and the TWU.

According to TWU, a separate Statement of Principles about workers in the on-demand economy recognises that workers in the on-demand economy are involved in a rapidly changing workplace environment, but this does not mean artificial terms for workers should limit their access to appropriate entitlements such as leave, proper payment, superannuation, safe working conditions and representation.

“This is a major positive for all transport workers – whether in traditional industries or the on-demand economy,” said Sheldon.

“Coles and the TWU are saying through these principles that there is no higher priority than safety and fairness in the Coles supply chain and the on-demand economy.

“This indicates to the community what can be achieved with good corporate citizens on board,” he added,” he said.

“Our business, and the businesses of our thousands of Australian suppliers, rely on the skill and the efforts of the workers in our supply chain,” said Durkan.

“As our business evolves to meet the constantly-changing needs of our customers, we are also increasingly engaged with the on-demand economy.

“The people who work in these sectors make an invaluable contribution not just economically, but to the community as a whole. We are proud to make this commitment that their safety and fair treatment will always be a top priority for Coles,” he said.

In March, trailer builder, MaxiTRANS, completed its bulk order of Maxi-CUBE and Freighter trailers for Coles, ahead of schedule via its manufacturing facility in Ballarat, Victoria.

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