ALDI is being sued for allegedly underpaying its workers up to $150 million, according to a class action brought by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA).
A class action is a lawsuit brought by multiple people to sue a defendant for the same or similar reasons.
The SDA estimates that more than 20,000 current and former employees are owed backpay.
The SDA alleges that some ALDI employees had to work up to 30 minutes “before their shift without pay”. This includes tasks like changing the tills, emptying bins, and safety checks.
The SDA National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer, said: “Every minute of unpaid work counts and we’re taking ALDI to the Federal Court to
ensure that workers get every cent they’re owed.”
All ALDI workers employed between October 2017 and March 2023, as well as all distribution centre workers employed between October 2017 and October 2022,
may be eligible for compensation.
The SDA estimates the average ALDI worker is eligible to receive $7,500 in backpay.
ALDI’s response to underpay
An ALDI spokesperson told TDA that ensuring employees are adequately paid is of “paramount importance”.
An internal note shared with TDA showed ALDI telling its employees that “assessments and calculations have now been completed” and that “any payments to be made will be in your pay next week.”
ALDI communicated to their employees that they have “amended [their] processes” following an external review.
The SDA said ALDI’s backpay plans are “inadequate”and show a “lack of transparency”.
The SDA are waiting for the court to hear the class action with aims to “ensure that all workers… receive their full backpay.”
Not the first time
This comes after the Federal Court found ALDI underpaid workers at a NSW distribution centre in 2022.
Distribution centre workers were asked to complete “pre-work” duties 15 minutes before clocking on. This also included tasks like safety checks, picking up pallet wraps, and checking communication devices.