Meet our March Delegate of the Month - Rebecca
Meet our ‘Delegate of the Month’, Rebecca. Rebecca has been a member of the SDA for 17 years and has represented her co-workers as a Delegate for over 8 years.
We sat down for a chat with Rebecca and asked her some questions about her role as store delegate.
Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you become a delegate?
I've always felt the need to help people, and being a delegate is a real, impactful way to do that. Standing up for what is right and being a voice for those too scared to speak alone are traits my parents passed to us growing up.
Why is recruiting union members important?
Recruitment is the only way to bolster the voice we have. When people feel included, they are more likely to stand strong against injustices they and their fellows are subjected to. It's easy enough to ignore individuals. It's harder to ignore organised groups.
What campaigns have you been involved with and why they were important?
I've been with the SDA a long time, and I've forgotten how many campaigns I've been involved with. The ‘100% Pay at 18+’ and the ‘No One Deserves A Serve’ campaigns are very dear to my heart. Food service has a larger proportion of younger workers than most other industries, and as such they're less willing to speak up about abuses, both from customers and internally. I want the age of majority to be when a person gets paid a living wage, and I'm hoping this campaign is successful in the coming years.
What has been your most notable achievement in your workplace?
Getting to almost 100% union membership in our store. Just a couple of holdouts still to convince, but I'm getting there!
What have you enjoyed most about being a delegate?
Putting members at ease with my knowledge and giving them the tools to win their own battles, such as with roster changes and pay disputes. I rarely need to get directly involved in issues because my members know their rights. Most of my managers are members too, so they can ask for and get help in rostering.
What do you aim to achieve in your workplace in the next 12 months?
I would love to see a greater emphasis on safety and a reduction of stress injuries. A tightening of belts and continued repercussions from the management shakeup of 2019 is causing a lot of strain throughout the store. I hope to be able to assist in alleviating some of that stress through education, mediation, and actively listening to the needs of my members.
What do you get most out of the delegate role?
I know that I can make a positive impact on my members lives. I live by the conviction of always trying to make lives easier, so if I can help lift a worry from someone's mind through listening, or giving them pointers to help fix problems, I've done myself proud.