Delegate of the month - Nicole
Nicole is one of three fantastic Delegates at Woolworths Mount Hutton. She has been a union member for almost three years and a Delegate for almost two years.
During her service as a Delegate she has dealt with numerous member issues and provided guidance and support to her co-workers, particularly younger workers.
More Recently, Nicole has negotiated challenges regarding team member safety and security due to a major renovation currently underway in the shopping centre, which has affected staff parking and staffing levels.
We asked Nicole about her role as a Delegate.
Why did you become a Delegate?
We have so many young and vulnerable employees in our workplace, often in their first job. They are new to the workplace and don’t know what it’s like. I want them to know they are protected and it’s a safe environment. I want them to realise that they do have a voice, and when we all stand together in the workplace we can make management and the company hear us. The more union members we have, the louder we are.
What has been your most notable achievement?
I supported and advised a young co-worker who had reported alleged harassment at work. We worked together through the issues and found solutions to move forward.
What campaigns have you been involved in?
One of the campaigns I was very passionate about was the ‘Take the Time’ campaign to protect Boxing Day as a retail trading-free day. I wanted my co-workers to realise we stood to lose our Boxing Day as a day off forever if they didn’t take a stand and dig their heals in.
Unfortunately, many retail employees were chasing the quick buck and, disappointingly, we lost it. This is a classic example of what happens when you don’t exercise your strength as union members and stand together to be heard.
I have also been very active in the ‘No One Deserves A Serve’ campaign, even convincing some of our manages to sign up to support the campaign. This is a great campaign where we all stand on the same page, so employees and managers should be united.
What do you aim to achieve in the next 12 months?
I would like to encourage more young workers to join the union. I don’t think they fully grasp the importance of being a member after a brief induction. I want to educate them further. That is my first goal.
My second goal is to encourage more members to be active in their union and to support active members to become new Delegates.
I’d also like to address issues of staffing and security levels in our store – especially at self-serve checkouts. Theft has an impact on staffing levels and rosters, which are driven by sales. We need to minimise theft without putting the safety of our co-workers at risk.
What do you enjoy most in your role as a Delegate?
I enjoy meeting new co-workers and getting to know existing co-workers better. I’m finding myself having conversations about the Union with team mates. If I wasn’t a Union member and Delegate I might not have had the opportunity to get to know them better.
I also enjoy listening to some of the guest speakers at our Delegate training days.