Tell Us Your Story
We're asking our members to share their experiences of working during the pandemic.
These stories speak to the enormous efforts they have put in, day in and day out, through an incredibly difficult time.
We have each experienced this pandemic in unique ways, but it is the common experiences that unite us.
We each have own our story of hardship and resilience, but it is our shared story which brings us together.
Each and every story matters. Each and every member matters.
These stories are why we will keep fighting for the wages and working conditions of our members.
Reach out, tell your story, and connect. You're not alone.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE STORIES WE'VE RECEIVED SO FAR...
"I work in night-fill and due to the massive demand on stock during the crisis, I changed to days to break down the loads so that fillers could work the stock through the day as well as the nights. My pay has significantly reduced due to missing out on penalties from working my regular roster of nights. I feel with all the sacrifices the teams have been making we all deserve a bonus payment just like the managers have received. We all have worked hard and through the stress and uncertainty of these times feel we deserve a fair go. Most days we serve more people than normal with many much more impatient and aggressive. We should be recognised for helping get essentials to Australians."
- Rebecca, supermarket
"Most days we serve more people than normal with many customers being more impatient and aggressive. We should be recognised for helping get essentials to Australians."
- Tracey, discount store
"It is very scary; the customers even throw things at you because they must use the self-service. They do not adhere to the 1.5m rule, you are constantly moving back. We are not safe. I am an essential worker and I am keeping the shop full for the customers, so they have something to do. We constantly cleaning so it is safe for the customers, but that is still not enough. We the staff are stressed and very scared that someone may spit or cough on us."
- Sharlene, discount department store
"This is a very distressing period. It is hard working, as I am worried for my safety as well as my family’s safety. The way customers have been treating myself and my team members is disgusting at times. We are making a huge sacrifice just to better others. We deserve more recognition!"
"It’s been very dangerous for me working so close to the general public in cramped spaces such as walking in and out of work around the public to get to our clock on clocks, helping customers resume their transactions inside self-serve areas and to get out the back tea room where our lockers are. Also, when a customer asks you to show them where something is it is also very dangerous as we could catch COVID-19 from them. During all this pandemic buying it has also made all of us customer service operators late to going to our dinner breaks on time and this has made us more exhausted. When we ask if we can use the toilet we are denied and told that we will have to wait because it’s too busy, this is making myself and fellow team members very uncomfortable."
"This crisis has shown me that my company do not care for their staff. We didn’t have sanitiser, we had homemade signs at the door, we only got sneezeguards for the checkouts last week. No manager came around and asked how we were, which they should have every day. And all we have got is a little pack of chips, a can of warm Coke and 10% off our shopping till the end of June. We feel extremely let down."
- Karen, discount department store
"I was feeling overwhelmed with all that was happening with COVID-19. I have more than one auto immune disorder and suffer from asthma. I didn't want to let anyone down so chose to continue working during this trying time. I chose to make reusable masks and wear them every day at work as well as disposable gloves."
- Dianne, discount department store
"What about the retail staff that continued to work at Kmart due to being an “essential service”! But we’re never recognised in any media. We too experienced stress and anxiety dealing with customers that insisted on buying their essential goods! And bringing their whole family into shop because they were BORED at home. It was like the precautions that were put into place during lockdown were forgotten about once they walked into Kmart."
- Carolyn, discount department store
"Since the beginning of the shutdown our workloads and customers numbers have not reduced in any way. In fact, the number of customers and their time browsing within the store has increased. In my opinion, this increase of customers has increased the exposure to the public which as a result has increased the potential exposures to COVID-19, as well as other viruses such as influenza etc. I have spoken at length to other team members and a similar view is shared by many. Despite the fact I am grateful for having a job in the current circumstances, it does come at a cost - frustration and stress levels have increased, particularly from customers which is evident in their lack of respect for complying with social distancing rules and common courtesy. This all has an effect on team member morale, mental health, productivity and no doubt staff absenteeism."
- Ross, hardware store