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Truckies call on Ikea to stop exploitation

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Aussie truck drivers have called on Ikea to stop ripping off and exploiting their working conditions.

Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) gathered outside the store in Tempe in Sydney's south on Wednesday morning to protest against low wages following alarming reports of the working conditions of truck drivers transporting Ikea's goods in Europe.

A 12-month investigation by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) found the company's low wages of around $300 a month was forcing truckies in Europe to live, eat and sleep in their trucks.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon delivered a letter to Ikea on Wednesday, following two years of meetings with the company, which he says has repeatedly refused the unions' offer to work together on a solution.

"I have not seen the degree of exploitation that occurs in supply chains to the degree that it occurs in Ikea supply chains," he told AAP on Wednesday.

"In Australia we are finding more and more drivers coming forward and our investigations are demonstrating there are similar patterns starting to develop in the Ikea supply chain within Australia."

He said the "horrible conditions" are contributing to truck fatalities on NSW roads which as of 2015, reached 2500 over the past decade.

"Ikea needs to sit down with unions around the world, sit down with unions here and actually work out a solution to their supply train havoc because they are turning around an exploiting many many truck drivers."

Mr Sheldon, who has been in the trucking industry for almost three decades, also called on the federal government to bring back laws that protect owner drivers.

"Otherwise you are just playing at the hands of Ikea and allowing them to run roughshod over Australians," he said.

Mr Sheldon said the Sydney protest was held with eight other similar protests around the world, saying the issue was only going to escalate.

"These drivers are in a desperate situation, they have been treated like slaves to their trucks and slaves to Ikea supply chain," he said.

"Ikea needs to be held to account and needs to turn around and start fixing and co-operating with its work force in its supply chains."

Ikea says it was aware of the transport unions' action and would endeavour to understand the complaints and concerns.

"Even though the drivers who transport our products are not employed by Ikea Transport it is very important for us that they have good and fair working conditions," Ikea said in a statement to AAP on Wednesday.

"Ikea transport follow up and make regular audits to ensure compliance."

Source of article click here: The Australian

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