Darryl Wing and Geoffrey Anthonisz – two proud SDA members

November 13, 2019 News

By Chris Gazenbeek, SDA State Secretary

I recently had some lunch with two long term members who have embarked on their next journey in life – namely retirement. I caught up with Darryl and Geoffrey over lunch with one of their SDA Delegates, Michael Bazzan. Darryl and Geoff have both chalked up over 40 years of SDA membership and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Darryl first joined the union in October 1973 and has been a loyal SDA member ever since. He has seen his fair share of managers over that time, worked at different DCs and has just retired from the Woolworths BRDC.

In Darryl’s own words, “You’re always going to have issues at work whether it’s a manager or you have a workplace injury. It’s important to have the SDA as backup if anything happens. I’ve been through many EBA negotiations and the SDA has never backed down, always fought for us, everybody had their say and the SDA always got the approval of the members.

“If you needed backup, all you had to do was ask one of the SDA Delegates for help or call the union office. Managers don’t stay loyal to their employees but the SDA has always supported us. Another union came on our site, but I was never going to leave the SDA because they have always done the right thing by us. I did a free will through the SDA which was also great.

Geoffrey has been a loyal SDA member for over 43 years. Born in Sri Lanka he immigrated to Australia in 1976. Upon arriving, he commenced work at the Everton DC, transferred to Acacia Ridge and has recently retired from Larapinta. Geoffrey always loved having a stable job as he was able to provide for his family. He has always appreciated the benefits of having a well-paid union job and commented that his workmates at Larapinta are the best group of people he ever worked with.

Geoffrey told me that the SDA represented him in a dispute. He moved from Afternoon Shift to Day Shift just before going on holidays. Geoffrey said, “The SDA fought for me to get the Afternoon Shift Rates while I was on holidays and we won.

“Everyone should join the SDA; it’s like insurance. The SDA has people who can help you. The SDA looked after me so why would I change unions. The other union just pushes membership and don’t really do anything else”.

Geoffrey told me that his was a single wage family; they had two children and one went to university. They own their home and did it all on the one wage. In retirement, he spends time with his grandchildren.

I left the lunch knowing that I had left two very proud men, two very proud SDA members.