May 15, 2020 News

by Kate Banfield, SDA Traininer

I recently conducted a training course in Toowoomba with the assistance of Nikolai, our Western Region Organiser.

We spoke about many subjects including the importance of keeping our Union strong. Facts do not lie. Over the last 30 years, unions which have low membership have not been able to represent their members and are faced with three choices. They either close their doors, continue to languish or amalgamate with another union.

In those 30 years, the SDA has continued to thrive even though we have had a high turnover of membership particularly in the fast food and retail sectors.

Our Shop Stewards and Delegates are fully aware of the challenges we all face and are now being proactive in recruiting new employees into the SDA. Why? Our Stewards and Delegates know that it is easier to achieve results by acting as a collective as opposed to acting as individuals.


Robyn Eastwell works at Coles Wilsonton She has been a long time SDA member and a Shop Steward since 2012. Robyn, like so many Stewards, has helped her members in her store in roster disputes, behavioural issues, health and safety questions, workers’ compensation queries etc. Robyn also knows that if she can’t answer a member’s query, she can call the SDA office for immediate assistance.

For a long time, Robyn has realised that retail workers need a strong SDA. Her Organiser, Nikolai, recently asked her whether she would be interested in learning how to induct new employees into the SDA. Robyn jumped at the opportunity and is now inducting new employees. She also draws upon her own experiences and the different ways she has been able to help her fellow SDA members. In Robyn’s words, “Induction training is a great idea for all Stewards. It certainly keeps me motivated and I really feel like I’m part of the Union when I’m recruiting. Recruiting builds the strength of the Union which can only be a good thing. I recommend to all Stewards to speak to their Organiser and learn how to induct new employees into the SDA. We all need to increase the union’s strength”.