Silly Silly Silly

September 22, 2021 Know Your Rights News

By Semone Pfingst
SDA Organiser



A few weeks ago I was faced with a most difficult case. The difficulty wasn’t in the actual case but in the fact that the member had only been an SDA member for three days. The issue I was presented with occurred in the store on the Friday and the member had joined the day before.

The member contacted the union office on the following Monday to report the fact that she had been suspended pending an investigation. I had no alternative but to inform the member that the amount of representation I could give is limited to the few days she was a member.

She had been working for this company for over a year. Just like all staff members, she had been to an induction when she first started work and was spoken to about the SDA and invited to join.

She decided at that stage to wait.

She had also been approached by the SDA Shop Steward since starting and was asked if she would like to join. She chose at that point not to join.

After working in store for a number of months she started having issues. She did approach the Shop Steward for guidance and advice but again chose not to join. The Shop Steward correctly informed her she could not offer assistance because she was not a member of the SDA. Again, she chose not to join.

Too late…

She did decide to join a several days before she was suspended. I politely informed the member I would assist her from the time she joined the union.

I helped her with moral support during the investigation and offered advice where I could. Unfortunately she lost her job but a lot of it could have been avoided if she had joined the union from the time she commenced work. The issues that had begun months before the point of suspension could have been sorted out and dealt with successfully.

I am very passionate about the importance of the Union and this very example should spur us all on to a greater awareness of who is in the Union and who is not.

If you know a non-member in your workplace, approach them with how the SDA has helped you or others in your store. If you see they are having troubles or may need a helping hand let them know what the SDA can do for them both at work and outside of work. It is important that we always remain on the lookout for people in your workplace that need a helping hand.

Let’s keep our Union strong and proud with an increase in membership across the board!