Wonderful news in Distribution Centres
By Mili and Steve, SDA Warehouse Organisers
We are happy to report that SDA membership in our Distribution Centres has increased in the last 12 months by 29%. This is wonderful news and clearly shows that DC workers have seen the benefits and protection of being an SDA member.
Everyday we’re in direct contact with many of the SDA Delegates that work in Distribution and it is heartening to hear the constant stories of how they have saved the jobs of members. Members know they can call on the expertise of their Delegates when they are involved in counselling and warning sessions with management. If trained SDA Delegates were not on site, members would find little comfort in representing themselves against trained management and HR personnel. Members often comment that knowing they can call on the guidance and assistance of their Delegates gives them great confidence and this alone is worth their annual membership fees.
Besides job security, other benefits include:
- negotiating new Enterprise Agreements;
- Delegate training;
- Workers’ Compensation support;
- expert industrial/work related advice and assistance;
- free wills, accident insurance and mortality benefit;
- unlimited access to and representation by trained SDA Delegates;
- protection against unfair dismissal, in the event of harsh and unfair treatment from individual employers.
Distribution centres which are highly SDA unionised enjoy far better working and pay conditions compared to non-unionised sites. But at the end of the day, the union’s strength on individual sites is determined by the people on the site and in the Union. Strength is definitely in relation to numbers in the Union. UNITY!!!! That is why workers onsite should join the SDA union for their mates, and not just for themselves. Management will more likely address a concern and have it promptly fixed if the masses of staff speak out in a unified ‘union’ voice. With the increase in SDA membership in distribution sites, the SDA will become stronger onsite which will enable us to maintain and improve working conditions and wages in the future for our members.
2022 is a very important year for our members working in the Coles DCs. Negotiations will commence for the new Enterprise Agreement. Our members are well aware that these negotiations are very significant as they will be played out amidst the impending closures of the current sites due to Coles going down the path of automating their distribution chain. There is no doubt that retraining, job retention and redundancy payments will feature heavily in those negotiations.