If nothing is said, the problem usually gets worse
By Arnie Hurdoyal, SDA Organiser
SDA Union protection is your protection against unfair treatment at work.
Often in my work as an SDA Organiser, I meet workers who are afraid to exercise their rights because they are afraid of reprisal in their workplace. This can be quite hard for the person involved to overcome especially when the other party has been deliberately intimidating. However, standing up for yourself is the only thing to do – and remember, as an SDA member, you are not alone. Your membership of the SDA is your assurance of support if you need it. If something is bothering you, don’t keep it to yourself.
The Union is there for you to ensure you receive all the legal entitlements which we have worked so hard to establish. You have, in most workplaces, co-workers who can represent you – your trained SDA Shop Steward. If need be, they can hand over unresolved matters to an SDA Organiser.
Companies know and, in most cases, respect this. So if you find one person is making your life unpleasant, speak up – don’t just take it. Whether it’s a matter relating to unfair rostering, denial of rest breaks, underpayment, sexual harassment, unsafe work environments or any other issue in the workplace, you must raise it as these important issues will not resolve themselves.
If nothing is said, the problem usually gets worse. Also, there is also a broader reason for speaking up; workplace laws and regulations are useless unless they are activated. For example, every worker has a right to their breaks once they have worked the required hours but if no one pursues that right, then that right to rest and meal breaks is at risk of disappearing.
Unfortunately, I have often heard from Shop Stewards who are concerned for their workmates, especially the younger ones, who miss out on their entitlements because of a general reluctance to ‘rock the boat’.
So let this be a message to you all.
Don’t be shy!
The SDA is always there to offer you, as a member, confidential advice on issues you may be having at work and we will support you all the way.
The SDA – helping members for 113 years.