Update from meeting #13 – and more
The SDA Delegates met with Woolworths’ management and the NUW and EBR’s again on Monday the 14th of July.
At the last meeting the SDA had asked the company to reconsider elements of its last proposal and asked it to make some changes. These were to make the company’s offer fall more in line with what our SDA members would want, and more in line with the SDA’s Log of Claims.
On Monday the company came back with a new offer which addressed some of the SDA’s concerns. The company also announced that the offer had an expiry date if they could not get endorsement.
The SDA negotiated to get an extension of that expiry to 6pm, the 16th of July.
At 1pm on the 16th the SDA Delegates and SDA officials held an extraordinary meeting, without the company present. This meeting was to consider our position.
We felt that while the company had made a substantial offer, there were still too many concerning items in the Company’s package for us to feel confident our members would accept it.
Some of our concerns included a reduction and freezing of the Grade 1 rate, and while the company’s package contained a commitment to resolving the problems around the reserve pool and promotions, there were yet to be any specifics on what that would be. Also, while the company had included all permanent employees getting the benefit of all public holidays, it included the ability to make permanents work one public holiday a year if the company couldn’t get enough volunteers.
At 4pm we advised the company that we wanted the opportunity to put the company’s proposed offer before our members, as a pre-ballot poll. We would neither encourage nor discourage our members from considering the company’s package and only if the majority of our SDA member’s on the floor voted in favour of the offer would we then put it to the ballot with the SDA’s endorsement. It goes without saying that if the majority of SDA members voted against the offer, it would not get our endorsement.
We have yet to have a reply from the company.