Transport workers protested at Coles stores right around the country today.

They blame the food giant for causing the deaths and injury of truck drivers on the road.

And they say Coles has to take responsibility for road safety.

Tess Gilfedder reports.


The famous Coles catch-cry was turned against them today as the Transport Workers Union rallied against the retailer.

Protestors barely made it in to the shop before police were called and the shop temporarily shut down.

They continued outside though demanding changes in working conditions for delivery drivers.

They say tight deadlines are forcing truckies to take risks.

Scott Connelly, Assistant State Secretary, Transport Workers Union: “He doesn’t rest, he doesn’t take a break, he doesn’t get adequate rest the night before, doesn’t sleep, or he takes stimulants so he can keep going. That’s just not good enough.”

On display outside a symbol of the potential consequences of driving tired.

Peter Ferguson, Former Truck Driver: “A person shouldn’t have to die to go to work. A person should be able to go to work and go home safely. They shouldn’t have the pressure but on them, that the majors exert on them.”

The union says retailers aren’t accepting any responsibility.

Scott Connelly, Assistant State Secretary, Transport Workers Union: “They don’t accept that year in year out we see 300 odd people killed on our highways. That they’ve got a role to play.”

At local supermarket loading docks it’s business as usual. Neither of the major supermarkets wanted to speak on the issue.

But in a statement, a Coles spokesman said the union’s claims are unsubstantiated.

The Australian Logistics Council has confirmed that new legislation will come in on January 1st 2013 ensuring a national approach to chain of responsibility.

Tess Gilfedder, QUT News.