SDANEWS OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEESâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ASSOCIATION, NEW SOUTH WALES BRANCH f WINTER 2019 fRRP $10.00
sda stands with actu to win pay rises!
sda bargaining delivers pay protection, penalty rates and pay rises. see pages 5 & 7 for details.
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, NSW BRANCH
WWW.SDANSW.ORG.AUFPHONE 131 SDA STREET ADDRESS: Level 3, 8 Quay Street, Sydney NSW 2000 POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box K230, Haymarket NSW 1240 E-MAIL: email@example.com
EDITOR: Bernie Smith, Level 3, 8 Quay Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Please address all correspondence to “The Secretary”.
SECRETARY: Bernie Smith ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Robert Tonkli PRESIDENT: Maria Dumycz
ORGANISERS LEAD ORGANISERS: Angela Ghanime, Joseph Bourke
Anthony Maiatico, Anthony Attard, Caroline Israel, Chris Stefanovski, Mina Papadopoulos, Tina Callaghan, Joel Tynan, Karl San Pedro, Anthony Day, Whitney Rizk, Alex del Rosario, Alison Varga, Josip Blazevic, Nathan Egan, Jessica Rebbechi, Ben Uphill, Mary Graham, Christopher Raj, Mary Axiak, Jacinta Moore, Alexander Kennedy, Nathan Beard, Rachael Hoffmann, Matthew Hill, Talitha Clarke, Pamela Torbey
Lower South Coast, Southern Highlands & Canberra: Narelle Atkins, Joe Rebbechi, George Nulley-Valdes n phone 6273 2300 Riverina (Wagga/Albury): Struan Timms n phone 6921 8820 Western NSW (Orange/Dubbo): Louise Buesnell and Loretta Turner (part-time Organiser) n phone 6362 1965 Far North Coast (Ballina/Tweed): Trevor McCosker n phone 6686 4192 Wollongong & Illawarra: Vera Cavanagh and Di Dixon (part-time Organiser) n phone 4228 3611 Coffs Harbour and Armidale Region: Mariusz Werstak and Bridget Sheridan n phone 6650 9950 WAREHOUSING AND MANUFACTURING: John Paul Sialafau, Alex Velickovic
INDUSTRIAL OFFICERS: Bernard Govind, Mitchell Worsley, Aliscia Di Mauro, Rose Ghabache, Monica Rose WORKERS’ COMPENSATION OFFICER: Michael Babic WHS OFFICER: Jane Lui SENIOR OPERATIONS OFFICER: Felicity Smithson OPERATIONS OFFICER: Phil Walker COMMUNICATIONS OFFICERS: Michael Walker, Peter Frawley, Paul Farrugia INFORMATION OFFICERS: Corrine Boyle, David Uzzell, Georgina Psillis, Renee Jaajaa, Nadia Olic, Jessica Chidiac, Effie Toumbas EDUCATION OFFICER: Philippe LeCompte
standing together for a better deal
It has been a difficult six months in the retail industry in Australia, with consumer confidence and spending down. This, of course, has a negative impact in the shops and warehouses where our members work. The only way to properly fix this slump in consumer spending is to see real wages (wage rises above inflation) growing again across our economy. Standing Together for Better Wages Many SDA members have recently received pay rises either under SDA-negotiated Agreements, SDAnegotiated pay rises or in our industry Awards (see pages 5 and 7). The SDA strongly supported the ACTU case in the Annual Wage Review, winning a 3% pay rise, despite opposition from many employer groups. This 3% has now flowed into many SDA Agreements. The 3% increase is higher than average private sector wage growth and higher than inflation, representing real wages growth. Thanks to all members and Delegates who helped win this pay rise through completing pay surveys, providing evidence of your household budgets, talking to the media, attending rallies at the Fair Work Commission (FWC), but most importantly by being a member of the SDA. It pays to belong. An update on bargaining negotiations is on page 7.
Standing up for Others Thanks to all members for their generous support and donations that enabled us to make another donation this year to the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital, which does such great work and supports all seriously ill children across NSW.
Thanks also for your generous support for the homeless in the recent Vinnies CEO Sleepout. One cold night is a small ask to support the selfless work of so many people supporting some of our most vulnerable. Standing for Respect Our work on addressing the problem of customer abuse continues. At the moment, a world-first trial of measures to reduce or eliminate customer abuse is underway in NSW. The trial is a partnership between the SDA, iCare NSW and Griffith University. We thank The Reject Shop and KFC for their involvement. See the report on pages 10-11. There is so much more to be done to ensure retail workers and fast food workers are treated with respect, but we are making progress. The SDA recently hosted a national roundtable with industry stakeholders and regulators on the next steps to reduce customer abuse. There should be zero tolerance for disrespectful behaviour in our workplaces.
Standing with Woolworths Members It has been a difficult time in Woolworths stores, with a major restructure by the company of the management teams in stores. The SDA took the issue up in the FWC, secured some improvements and continues to work through issues for our members in Woolworths. In difficult times, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that members know they have a friend in the workplace with the SDA. Thank you to all Delegates and Officials for your tireless work to get the best possible outcome for members (see pages 8-9). Standing Together We recently marked with sadness the passing of former Secretary Brian Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill as well as the great unionist and great Australian Bob Hawke. Brian and Bob always stood up for working people and were great role models for us all. When we stand together we get the best results even in difficult times. Thank you to all Delegates and members for standing together over the last six months. There are many challenges ahead for our industry and I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with all of you as we take on the challenges together.
Bernie Smith, Branch Secretary SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 3
vale Brian O’Neill
The SDA notes with great sadness the passing of former Secretary of the SDA NSW Branch, Brian O’Neill. Brian was a great unionist who fought the good fight on behalf of shop assistants, warehouse workers and pharmaceutical workers, no matter what the cost. During the 1970s, the SDA went through a A Labor Man, a Catholic and an difficult period. At that time, Brian stood up for Australian of Irish descent who lived our members and his belief in a Union for shop in Bronte for the past 41 years. assistants and warehouse workers. He believed Born to Bridget (nee Quin lan) and William (Bill) of Bexley Nor th. Bro in a Union that was close to its members. Brian ther to Peter and Marie. Par tner in all played a pivotal role in the history of the SDA, things of Keri. Father and mentor of and the shop assistants, warehouse workers and pharmaceutical workers of NSW and the Bridget, Christopher, Marjorie, Mar y ACT owe him a debt of gratitude for saving their Union. and Francis, and his so much love d Brian went on to be a Commissioner in the Industrial Commission of NSW, and an academic grandchildren Matilda and Laura. and lecturer, but of all the jobs he ever held his favourite was being a Union Official with the Saddened by the election of yet another Liberal government, he SDA because of the difference he was able to make for the people he cared about. decided to go to Heaven where nurse Brian passed away just before the declaration of the results of the 2019 NSW election. patient ratios will be a lot better. His daughter Marjorie was the only person to gain a seat for NSW Labor in this election, Brian O’Neill’s funeral notice in the Sydn ey Morning Herald and he passed away knowing this. Farewell and thank you, Brian.
vale Bob Hawke The SDA notes with great sadness the passing of Bob Hawke, a great Union Leader, great Prime Minister and great Australian. Bob was a great friend of the SDA, and the SDA were great supporters of him. The SDA saw in Bob someone with a great capacity to bring people together and do great things for working people. He was a deeply intelligent man who had the common touch — a wonderful combination. He loved people and people loved him in return. He stayed close to working people, genuinely cared about them and delivered great things for them. He said of the SDA, “a Union’s job is to deliver fair pay and decent working conditions for working people, and I give the SDA a 10/10”. Bob was an 11/10. Bob never lost sight of the fact he was a unionist first and foremost. At an ACTU Congress, he stated that every working Australian owes their standard of living to the trade union movement. That may be true, but every Australian worker has Bob Hawke to thank for his vision, his decency, his capacity to bring people together, for superannuation, for Medicare, for their standard of living and for modern Australia. The union song Solidarity Forever goes, “Solidarity forever for the Union makes us strong”. In truth, Bob made Australia strong. Solidarity forever. May he Rest in Peace.
PAGE 4 f winter 2019 f SDA NEWS
W OnEIn O
unions win 3% increase
5 0 DVD
The SDA, working through the Australian Council of Trade Unions (the ACTU), has secured a 3% increase to the wages in all of our industrywide Modern Awards, including the General Retail Industry Award, the Storage Services and
by Robert Tonkli Assistant Secretary
Wholesale Award, the Fast Food Industry Award and the Pharmacy Award. The new rates took
effect from Monday 1 July 2019. This increase also flows through to many SDA-negotiated Agreements (such as Coles, Woolworths Supermarkets etc), which have wage adjustments pegged to the Annual Wage Review decision of the Fair Work Commission. SDA Members should note that the increase will vary
We’re giving away 50 DVDs of Avengers: Endgame.
if you are currently on a protected or transitional rate of pay.
To enter this competition, simply:
While the 3% pay rise is above the current (March 2019) average
1. Register online at www.sdansw.org.au or
Australian wage increase of 2.3% per annum, Governments and business need to do much more to address our biggest single economic problem — low wage growth. We have had historically low wage growth now for too many years, and on top of this further cuts to penalty rates in retail, fast food and pharmacy that took effect on 1 July. If the Government and business sector really want to boost the economy, they should be backing policies which put money back into consumers’ pockets, not rip it away in the form of reduced penalty rates. Your Membership Delivers This 3% pay increase is thanks to your support and Union membership, allowing the SDA to continue our work to push for pay rises. Each year, the SDA strongly supports the case put forward for pay increases in the Annual Wage Review because we know the rising cost of living continues to put pressure on our members. As the cost of everything else continues to rise, we understand how important this 3% pay increase is. Your membership means we remain a strong voice in the case for better wages.
2. Scan this image with your QR-enabled smartphone or 3. SMS the word ‘EnDgaME’, your first name, your last name and your membership number (for example: EnDgaME John Smith M1234567*) to 0429 577 943 or 4. Enter by mail – write your name, address, SDa membership number, phone number and employer’s name on a piece of paper, pop it into an envelope and mail it to: SDA Competitions, PO Box K230, Haymarket NSW 1240. You must have your entry in by
FRIDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2019 Entries are limited to one per member. The first 50 entries drawn from the barrel will win. *Your entry must be in this format or the SMS system will reject the entry. Winners from the competitions held in each issue of SDA News can be found in the infonet section of www.sdansw.org.au
helping the kids
For many years on Union Picnic Day, the SDA has held a raffle to support the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital at Westmead. As is customary, the Union matched the money raised in the raffle, resulting this year in a final donation of $8,426. Branch Secretary Bernie Smith is pictured presenting the donation to the Hospital earlier this year. Including Randwick, the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital Network cared for 50,000 inpatients last year as well as more than 200 emergency department presentations daily.
SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 25
bargaining update The SDA continues to secure new Enterprise Agreements for members in a range of companies. SDA-negotiated Agreements that by Bernie Smith Branch Secretary were recently approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) include: u BWS (17 July) u Just Group (1 August) u Romeo’s IGA (17 July) u David Jones (26 February) u Ecolab (1 August) SDA-negotiated Agreements that have been voted up by members but are still awaiting approval by the FWC include:
Big W The new Big W Agreement is in the FWC awaiting approval and is listed for hearing on 16 and 17 September 2019. The approval has been delayed by a bargaining representative for a few individuals. This delay caused by the bargaining representative is costing members significant amounts of money because it delays members receiving their improved penalty rates and other benefits in the Big W Agreement, as these will not apply until it is approved. This is frustrating for Big W members given the Agreement was overwhelming voted up by 92% of voting Big W employees in March this year. Kmart The new Kmart Agreement is in the Fair Work Commission awaiting approval. Again, the approval has been delayed by a bargaining agent for a few individuals. As this edition of SDA News goes to print,
we are expecting a decision to approve the Agreement. Kmart has agreed to backpay the pay rise and increased penalty rates to 1 July.
Bunnings Warehouse The Bunnings Warehouse Agreement was voted up with the support of 77% of voting members. The SDA still has some concerns about the Agreement which we will argue before the Fair Work Commission. Bunnings may have to make undertakings to the Commission before the Agreement can be certified. McDonald’s The McDonald’s Agreement was voted up with the support of 59% of employees. The SDA initially opposed the Agreement, as McDonald’s had not agreed to mirror the Award penalty rates in the Agreement, and we expected Labor would win the Federal Election and restore Sunday penalty rates in the Award. The Union has raised concerns with the proposed Agreement that might be able to be addressed if McDonald’s makes undertakings to the Fair Work Commission to fix the problems. Hungry Jack’s Following extensive negotiations between the SDA and Hungry Jack’s, a new Agreement has been sent to the Fair Work Commission for approval, following 93% of members voting in favour of it. We are also very pleased that the Hungry Jack’s Agreement delivers, for the first time, paid family and domestic violence leave for fast food workers. For more details on the Agreement, go to: www.national.sda.com.au/HungryJacks/ Officeworks A new Agreement has been finalised at Officeworks, receiving overwhelming support with 97% of voting members endorsing the Agreement.
Costco A strongly-growing SDA membership at Costco has helped secure another good quality SDA-negotiated Agreement. Congratulations to all the members and SDA Delegates involved in the negotiations. The Agreement received 94% support. plus more As this edition of SDA News goes to print, SDA negotiations continue with many more companies for new Agreements, while other Agreements are being rolled out and voted on by members. Pay rises: Check your payslip Pay rises under SDA negotiatedAgreements, negotiated interim pay rises, or pay rises under industry Awards have recently been secured for members at the following companies:
u u u u u u u u u u u
u u u u u u u u u u
Revlon (1 April) Big W (6 May) Woolworths Supermarkets (1 July) David Jones (1 July) Harris Scarfe (1 July) Best & Less (1 July) Myer (1 July) Just Group (1 July) Spotlight (1 July) Noni B Group (1 July) Amazon Fulfilment Centre Labour Hire (1 July) Coles Express (1 July) Ecolab (1 July) Woolworths Petrol (1 July) Priceline (1 July) Jack Butler (1 July) Ali Baba (1 July) The Reject Shop (1 July) Romeo’s IGA Coles Supermarkets (8 July) BWS (17 July)
SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 7
woolworths res member u
SDA WINS IMPrOVED REDUNDANCY PAY Years Service
Improved for Under 45
Improved for over 45
Less than 1 year 1 year — less than 2 years 2 years — less than 3 years 3 years — less than 4 years 4 years — less than 5 years 5 years — less than 6 years 6 years — less than 7 years 7 years — less than 8 years 8 years — less than 9 years 9 years — less than 10 years 10 years or more
10 weeks 12.5 weeks
12 weeks 15 weeks
10 weeks 14 weeks 17.5 weeks 11 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks 13 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks 14 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks 16 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks 16 weeks 16 weeks 20 weeks
PAGE 8 f winter 2019 f SDA NEWS
The SDA has taken Woolworths to the Fair Work Commission over the company’s restructure of its store operating model, and we by Bernie Smith, Branch Secretary have secured some important improvements for members. Woolworths announced a national restructure of their store operating model in early June, following a brief trial in Zone 3. The national restructure went a lot further, with larger impacts on jobs than the trial in Zone 3. Many members who contacted the SDA were anxious and worried about the restructure. The SDA opposes the restructure and is continuing to represent members to protect jobs, pay and conditions. The SDA filed a dispute about the restructure in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) because we disagree with the restructure and the way it was being implemented. On 19 June, SDA Delegates meetings across Australia expressed their support for the SDA dispute in the FWC.
The FWC allocated a Deputy President to oversee the proceedings that went over two full days. SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer and I represented the SDA in the FWC, and argued strongly to secure ongoing work for members, questioned which roles were actually changing, sought to protect take-home pay, increase proposed transitional payments, increase redundancy payments and set up a fast track process to deal with all individual issues that arise for SDA members. The Deputy President, having heard from the SDA and from Woolworths, worked to try to resolve the dispute. On 3 July, the Deputy President made recommendations to resolve the collective dispute that the SDA had lodged in the FWC. The recommendations did not cover everything the SDA had sought, but did provide a number of improvements to what had been originally proposed by Woolworths. Woolworths agreed to the recommendations of the FWC. On 4 July, the SDA called Delegates meetings across Australia to consider the recommendations of the Deputy President of the FWC to resolve the collective parts
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of the dispute. SDA Delegates across NSW and the ACT unanimously endorsed the recommendations that resulted in the following improvements: u All Customer Operating Model job offers to full-time employees will be job offers of full-time work. u Store Services Officers who take on the Store Services & Compliance Officer role will receive TTR (including those SSOs going from salary to the Agreement). u Head Reserve Stockhands currently receiving TTR will keep their TTR even if the job they are asked to do changes. u The transitional payment for Salaried Team Members will now use the more generous redundancy scale in the Agreement. u All salaried members who take a redundancy will get the more generous redundancy scale in the Agreement. u Members who are taking redundancy and stay until 30 September will receive: n an additional $2,000 retention sum, paid as an ex-gratia component of their redundancy package (and will be taxed accordingly); and n their notice period paid out in full.
SDA members wanting to take redundancy before 30 September may negotiate an earlier date through the SDA, and retain the redundancy pay (this will not be unreasonably refused). u a fast tracked process to resolve individual disputes for SDA members that arise as result of the restructure. Our case in the FWC sought to resolve matters on a collective basis. Not all matters can be resolved on a collective basis. The SDA is taking up a number of individual issues for members through the fast track process that arise as result of the restructure, so talk to your SDA Delegate, Organiser or contact us on 131 SDA (thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 131 732) if you have any questions or concerns so we can provide you with specific advice and support. Thank you to all Delegates for your strong and swift support through this process. Our members are well served by the network of in-store SDA Delegates and local Organisers who, in difficult situations like this, really are your friends in the workplace. u
SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 9
Australian-first trial to c
An ‘Australian-first’ trial by iCare in NSW in partnership with the SDA and Griffith Universtiy has been launched to reduce abuse from customers by Jane Lui towards retail and fast WHS Officer food workers. The Reject Shop has signed up to the trial alongside KFC to implement and test a number of proposed solutions. This trial is a direct result of the SDA’s ongoing No One Deserves A Serve campaign to stop abusive and violent behaviour in retail and fast food. A major objective of the trial is to reject the assertion that the ‘customer is always right’. Background Customer abuse and violence is a serious workplace health and safety issue. The effects of dysfunctional customer behaviour can be devastating for a worker’s physical, and psychological health, while also presenting significant issues for employers. The frequency and impact of customer abuse often goes unnoticed but contributes heavily to absenteeism rates, workers’ compensation costs, workplace morale and turnover.
A number of surveys initiated by the SDA recognised an alarming rise in customer abuse and violent behaviour towards workers in retail and fast food over the last few years Over 2016 to 2018, the SDA surveyed over 7,000 retail and fast food workers across Australia about their experiences. Since 2018, we have been highlighting the seriousness of customer abuse and violence through our major public No One Deserves A Serve campaign. Following a national industry roundtable on the issue hosted by the SDA in March 2018, iCare commissioned a comprehensive report into approaches to reduce the incidence and employee impacts of dysfunctional customer behaviour: Respect & Resilience in Retail & Fast Food. The report was in partnership with the SDA, Griffith University and Menzies Health Institute Queensland. The report is one part of the SDA’s work to stop abuse and violence by customers in the retail and fast food industries. The findings and recommendations will help form new approaches and significant information for the SDA to use in discussions with employers, employer groups, shopping centre owners and those in Government.
ICARE Respect & Resilience report: key findings Dysfunctional customer behaviour is a major threat to workers. This is defined as behaviour that goes against what is socially accepted (it includes swearing, yelling, intimidation, threatening, throwing objects, violence).
This behaviour towards retail employees is the norm, not the exception and is therefore pervasive, systemic and detrimental. Exposure to dysfunctional customer behaviour can have adverse consequences to both the short-term and long-term psychological wellbeing and physical health of an employee. The research has shown that customer incivility and verbal abuse can be just as impactful as physical violence and aggression. Research into dysfunctional customer behaviour shows that it negatively impacts employees' productivity, efficiency and attitudes towards work. To see the full report, search for ‘icare respect and resilience’ on your web browser. This Australian-first trial represents the next step in our campaign towards combatting the excessive and unacceptable abuse facing our members every day. the trials It is time to implement the most effective measures identified in the report to encourage positive interactions and end abusive and violent behaviour from customers. Workers in the trial will record any negative customer interactions in a diary before receiving de-escalation and negotiation training.
PAGE 10 f winter 2019 f SDA NEWS
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The companies will also be given strategies to reduce bad customer behaviour, such as making aisles wider and clearer signage to avoid confusion. According to the research conducted by the SDA and iCare, uncivil, abusive or aggressive customers can cause an immediate emotional reaction for employees, negatively altering their mood, and generating feelings of depression, anxiety, or anger that can last well beyond the work day. In cases where dysfunctional customer behaviour has been extreme or violent, these feelings can manifest into long lasting symptoms of stress disorder (i.e, flashbacks, anxiety, sleeplessness, hypervigilance, fear and anxiety at work). That’s why the SDA continues to push for industry wide change on this issue. Remember, your safety must come first. Report all incidents of abusive and violent customer behaviour, including customer behaviour that is sexual in nature. Reporting creates a record of the abuse and should help to ensure a proper process is followed to address the incident and enable workers to get the support they need. Information about the incidents is crucial to finding and trialling potential solutions to prevent this from happening and protecting you at work.
KEY SOLUTIONS IDENTIFIED WORKPLACE MODIFICATIONS Physical changes to the customer service environment could include: u Well-marked queues u Highly visible security cameras u Intuitive layouts to avoid confusion u Wider aisles & fewer bottlenecks INCREASED WORKPLACE SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES u Include employees in decision-making process that influences their role, training, policies and work environment u Allow employees to respond to customers in a way that reinforces their own boundaries (for example, stating that customer’s behaviour is not acceptable) u Allow employees flexibility to take a short break after negative customer interaction u Formal support systems REJECTION OF ‘CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT’ APPROACH u Develop explicit procedures for employees and supervisors for when the customer is not right u Introduce formal and informal policies, procedures and practices that support employees u Promote organisational culture of low tolerance towards dysfunctional customer behaviour COMMUNICATE ZERO TOLERANCE CULTURE IN STORES Use in-store signage u Remove offending customers temporarily or permanently from retail environment u Introduce legal deterrents u
SPECIALISED CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING u Training for employees that reduces preventable service failures and improves employees’ confidence in responding to problematic customers
Sign up to the NODAS campaign at noonedeservesaserve.com.au SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 11
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progress at amazon Amazon has been operating in Australia for a year and a half, with Online ment Centres in Sydney by Bernie Smith and Melbourne. Branch Secretary The SDA has been organising Amazon workers at the fulfilment centres, and they are joining the SDA. In the Summer edition of SDA News, we brought you the story of Raj, an SDA member from Amazon’s Sydney Online Fulfillment Centre. Since the story was published, and following SDA activity to organise members, it has been good to see Amazon announce that they will move away from only using labour-hire workers and will instead directly hire 500 employees in their Sydney and Melbourne fulfilment centres. This is a great step forward for those workers who will now enjoy greater security of employment, but we see it as only a first step towards better conditions. The direct employees will also enjoy a pay rise that was offered at the same time.
SDA resolves Amazon dispute The proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court between SDA member, Raj, and Adecco have been resolved by an agreed settlement. While the terms of settlement are otherwise confidential: u The SDA acknowledges that Adecco denied terminating Mr Eswara’s employment due to his Union membership and/or Union activity. u Adecco respects the rights of its workers working at the Amazon Fulfillment Centre to join the SDA Union (or any union that an Adecco employee is eligible to join). Workers from around the world join forces Amazon is now the world’s biggest retailer and, a few times in the last year, it has also been the world’s largest company by valuation at over $1 trillion. For comparison, that’s about 35 times the size of Woolworths Limited. The company now has 800 depots around the world, where it has gained a reputation for harsh working conditions.
In Australia, the SDA has joined with the TWU to form the Online Retail & Delivery Workers Alliance to organise the online retail industry, including Amazon. In April, the SDA joined unionists from 15 countries where Amazon operates, to discuss a global strategy for taking on this global giant. Alfred Bujara of Polish union Solidarnosc explained that workers in Amazon’s fulfilment centres are tracked, down to the second, as they do their work. In addition to the intense work environment, warehouse workers in other countries also complain about low wages and lack of collective bargaining agreements. Our result of organising Amazon workers in Australia and, at the same time seeing the introduction of permanent work for warehouse workers, as well as a pay rise, is a success story. It’s a long road ahead, but the SDA, with our local and international allies, will continue to press Amazon to treat its workforce with respect.
SS! t the STOP PRE working a s r e k r o w s n (or any rights of it SDA Unio e spects the e th r o in c c jo e d A Centre to le to join) ulfillment ee is eligib y lo p m e Amazon F o t an Adecc union tha
SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 13
meetings with delegates In March this year, SDA Branch Secretary Bernie Smith and Assistant Secretary Robert Tonkli travelled to see Delegates all around NSW and ACT to brief them on the Union’s priorities for 2019. These meetings were attended by more than 700 Delegates who took advantage of the opportunity for direct, face-to-face interaction with the Union’s leadership. The largest meeting, in Sydney, was addressed by Michele O’Neil, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). REST Superannuation representatives were present at all the meetings as were our workers compensation solicitors and other third party partners to provide information and answer Delegates’ questions.
SDA NSW Branch President Maria Dumycz opens the Sydney meeting.
SDA Delegates meeting Wollongong
SDA Delegates meeting Ballina
SDA Delegates meeting Tamworth
SDA NEWS f winter 2019 f PAGE 15
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