An opportunity, when it presents itself, to acknowledge the herculean efforts of supply chain workers over the last few years best not be passed up.
It takes rare fortitude to work long hours in a high-pressure job. To do that same job for several years, seemingly under siege, through what must have felt like a constant deluge of inventory takes an exceptional kind of soul.
Some 1200 of these souls were informed by their employer just last month that the same job, the one they turned up for through lockdowns and social distancing and border closures and daily testing for the better part of two years, no longer exists.
For the employees of Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, who were part of the vanguard charged with keeping our supermarket shelves stocked when shortages of essential goods across the nation were a very real and present concern, such an ending would be no less consoling having finally made it to the other side of all that.
Judging by the heartfelt response of the wider community to the news Australia’s biggest refrigerated commercial carrier, had gone into administration, and then, without having found a buyer, liquidation, their efforts have, at least, not been in vain.
CEO Nick Capp said it marked a devastating event for the cold chain industry but also, most importantly, for the people that made Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics what it was.
“The team did not deserve this ending. As a broad comms to our peers in the industry and beyond, I would recommend you work aggressively to capture the Scott’s talent seeking new opportunities on this platform,” he said in a statement on LinkedIn that has garnered overwhelming support from industry.
“I would love to reference their contribution to the business and the character and values they brought to their jobs every day.”
Endorsements don’t come any better. To have endured the dark days of COVID policy and the tidal effect it had on ordaining additional barriers on industry, as it dragged on like fingers down a chalkboard, remains an achievement not just worthy of tribute.
It’s a legacy deserving of national recognition. Let it be so.
Ernst Jünger wrote the book on crisis management.
That book is the remarkable memoir, Storm of Steel. In it he notes, “In war you learn your lessons, and they stay learned, but the tuition fees are high.”
It might not have been war, as many a divisive political figure likened it, but COVID or at least the analogy for a great many businesses waking with its hangover, isn’t any less true, no matter how you soft-pedal it.
Industry, for the most part, has rallied around the people at Scott’s. Media too.
For those paying off mortgages, as interest rates continue their steady climb, it’s likely of little comfort.
No time is a good time to lose a job.
There’s confidence, however, in the labour market that many of these people will be swiftly absorbed by competitors and adjacent companies desperate for talent.
Border Express, Linfox and other major carriers, have already expressed interest in taking on many of the redundant Scott’s staff.
Let’s hope it’s a quick process.
If road transport does one thing well, perhaps, above all others, it’s providing the means of a rapid response to overcome sudden, disruptive challenges.