Company decides to act
In this edition of the SDA News, I want to share a story which underlines the importance of our trained SDA Shop Stewards. Even when our members decide to follow a different path which turns out to be a dead end, the SDA via our Shop Stewards, Delegates and Officials will continue to support our members. Secondly, I wanted to make a comment concerning redundancy.
- Jack, an SDA member, commences work for a medium sized retailer.
- Within the first three months of employment, the Store Manager has a chat with Jack and suggests he could go a ‘long way’ with the company if he followed the ‘same path’ as he did.
- Jack asks his Manager to explain what he meant by the ‘same path’.
- The Manager told Jack that when he commenced work with the company, he worked a lot of unpaid overtime and by doing so, the Manager was told by his then Store Manager that he “would have a bright future” with the company.
- Jack starts working unpaid overtime and other SDA members become concerned.
- An SDA Shop Steward has a ‘quiet word’ in Jack’s ear and informs him that the manager has played this game before with five other staff members. Each time, it had ended in tears.
- Jack informed his union rep that he was prepared to take his chances.
- The SDA Shop Steward suggested that the member should keep accurate records of his unpaid overtime.
- The Store Manager speaks glowingly about the performance of doing unpaid overtime in a team meeting and suggests that other staff members should jump on board.
- Three months becomes thirty months of employment and the carrot keeps being presented, but still, the store manager does not offer a promotion to Jack.
- Jack had followed his Shop Steward’s advice and kept records of all the unpaid overtime he worked.
- Jack pursues a backpay claim for all unpaid overtime over the last 30 months with the company.
- The Store Manager refuses to pay Jack and stated that Jack had freely worked the hours.
- After consulting with the SDA Shop Steward, the SDA Organiser takes the matter to Head Office.
- The Company pays the backpay because the Store Manager was fully aware that Jack was working the unpaid overtime and in fact, ‘held the person up’ as a shining beacon at staff meetings.
- The Regional Manager had a meeting with the Store Manager and suggests that he should resign from the company.
- The recently departed Store Manager is currently looking for a new job.