SDA Protects Casual Jobs
By Chris Gazenbeek, State Secretary
Every week we hear, “Yeah, but I’m only a casual”.
Many members who are casual employees have fallen for the trap that casuals have minimal rights in their workplace. This is incorrect.
Recently, the union office received a phone call from a Shop Steward concerning two members who were casual employees. Both casuals were working on the checkouts and were involved in a mishap with a clearance which resulted in a large sum of money being stolen.
The first member was working on a register and went to perform a clearance but was interrupted by some customers. Instead of finishing the clearance, he put the customer first and placed the cash for the clearance under his draw.
The second member, also a casual employee, was his supervisor. The supervisor was aware of what was happening so he grabbed the clearance to try and complete the process. However, he too became distracted by customers and left the clearance on top of the register.
A dishonest customer, captured on camera surveillance, walked through the register area and walked out with the large sum of money.
The manager’s decisions were very swift. The first member who previously had an issue with a register clearance was sacked and told to pay back half the amount stolen.
The supervisor was told to also pay back half the amount stolen and then and only then would the company consider future hours.
These events happened quickly and as soon as the Shop Steward became aware of the issue, she contacted the union office.
The Shop Steward gathered statements and was of great assistance. Darryn Gaffy, the SDA Senior Industrial Officer spoke to the two members and both wanted their jobs reinstated and not to pay back the stolen money.
Darryn made representation to the company. To the company’s credit, they listened to Darryn’s argument and both members were reinstated without having to pay back any money.
Value of good Shops Stewards
All credit must be given to the workplace Shop Steward. If the Shop Steward hadn’t made the initial phone call to the union office it is unlikely the two casual members concerned would have enquired about their chances of continuing employment.
So when I hear, “Yeah, but I’m only a casual,” I respond with, “as long as you’re a financial member of the SDA we will always fight for you”.