Proposed strike could threaten Tip Top bread supply in Brisbane

Posted by Isobel Drake on 23rd September 2008

Industrial action proposed by Tip Top truck vendors could have an extensive impact on Brisbane’s bread supply if it goes ahead.

The Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU) is due to discuss the possibility of a strike at a meeting this afternoon, with truck drivers increasingly worried about the impact of rising cost pressures on their incomes. About eighty drivers are likely to attend the meeting – mainly suppliers of supermarket chains Aldi, Woolworths and Coles.

“Without an adequate rate increase from their supplier (Tip Top) over the last six months, rising fuel and operating costs have really started to hurt,” TWU Queensland Secretary Hughie Williams told AAP. “Far too many vendors are now being faced with a choice of cutting back on maintenance, wages and their household budgets just to be able to keep their trucks on the road and bread on our tables.”

A spokeswoman for Tip Top told the Brisbane Times that they remained committed to working through concerns with their vendors and distributors.

Tip Top Bakeries, owned by George Weston Foods, produces approximately 1,000,000 units of baked goods every day, with their major brands including Sunblest, 9Grain, Up and Tip Top. Their goods are sold to supermarkets, schools, food service operators, fast food outlets and hospitals.

A stoppage on their supplies would consequently be expected to have a major impact on Brisbane’s bread supply.