Transport Workers Union deputy secretary Michael Aird has called on Coles to take responsibility for rogue operators in its supply chain after police arrested one of its drivers on the NSW South Coast this week.
Thursday's arrest was part of an operation targeting the alleged use and supply of prohibited drugs during the operation of heavy vehicles.
During the warrants, investigators also seized company computer records and documents allegedly relating to speed and fatigue management and responsibilities.
Mr Aird says the problem is a systemic one and people really need to understand that it is part of a bigger picture.
“When a giant retailer like Coles pushes down rates, drivers end up being forced into dangerous practices that will kill people on our roads,” Mr Aird said.
“Desperate companies unfortunately resort to outrageous and illegal practices just to stay in business because of the enormous pressures imposed on them by Coles.
“People need to understand that one of the real costs of Coles driving prices down to increase profits is putting dangerously unsafe trucking companies onto our public roads."
Mr Aird said truck drivers being forced to work under enormous pressure from unrealistic deadlines imposed by large retail giants contributed to the more than 300 deaths on Australian roads each year.
“This is why the TWU continues to campaign for Safe Rates for our members and for all Australians using our roads: which mean fair pay for truck drivers and safe roads for drivers.
“The Coles business model is driving companies into unsafe practices and costing innocent people their lives,” Mr Aird said.
The trucking company, Bobbins, is in the Coles supply chain and contracting for Coles. It has previously been involved in serious accidents and had been found to be tampering with speed limiters.