AIR CONDITIONING AND EXCESSIVE HEAT
Over the summer period, the union receives many calls and emails concerning air conditioning issues. In particular, we receive calls from our nightfill members who have allegedly had their air conditioning turned off by a third party.
Unfortunately, there are no regulations which compel an employer to provide air conditioning in their workplace.
However, there is a generally accepted position that, if a workplace has air conditioning installed, it should be switched on at all times when people are working in the store.
If it is switched off when, for example, nightfill members are working in the store, it should be turned back on. If you are told the air conditioning timing is controlled by a third party outside the store, your employer should advise those who control the timing to adjust the timing in your store.
If your air conditioning breaks down or is not cooling properly, the employer should be acting as quickly as possible to rectify the problem.
Members are advised to take the problem up through the grievance procedure and if the problem is not resolved quickly, please ring or email the union office. We will find out what the problem is, what the delay is in getting the problem fixed and make sure that everything is being done that should be done to get the air conditioning fixed.
Of course, there are certain common sense measures that your employer can put in place to help members cope in hot and/or humid weather should your air conditioning break down.
Members are further advised to speak to their Shop Steward/Delegate or call the union office if they have any problems with these issues.