Why I became a Delegate
Joanne White works at McDonalds Heatherbrae. She has been a member of the SDA for four years and recently became a Union Delegate.
Here’s what she had to say about the role of Delegate, and why she became one.
Why did you become a Delegate?
There are a lot of young kids at my store who sometimes need guidance and help when they don’t understand their job or the workplace rules and policies. They are the most vulnerable and I wanted to help them.
Why is recruitment important to you?
I take my role of Delegate seriously and encourage new staff to join the Union so together we are strong and we are heard.
I see young staff at my store who genuinely want to be a part of a workplace where a Union is present.
I was excited when two of our employees joined the SDA Union recently, as it allows young workers to see that banding together works.
Why is Unionism important?
I think everyone who works in fast food or retail should be a member of the SDA.
My daughter is a SDA Union member at her workplace, and I was a member of the SDA when I worked in retail prior to starting with McDonalds.
What do you most enjoy about being a Delegate?
The young staff look up to me at work, they call me ‘Momma Joe’. I love helping them and letting them know the Union is at their workplace and is working to improve their pay and Enterprise Agreement.
I wear my Union badge all the time and I tell everyone who I am and who the SDA Union is!
I explain to staff what a Union is, why they need to be a Union member and the importance of having a voice. I let them know that as a member, they have a Union Delegate who they can talk to when they need help, i.e. if they don’t know their rights, or if they’re asked to attend any workplace counselling and need me to go with them as their representative.
What campaigns have you been involved with as a Union member and why are they important?
I’ve been involved in the campaign to save penalty rates.
It’s really important that workers don’t lose money when they’re working unsociable hours, and they need to earn penalty rates for doing so. They’re working at times when they should be with their families.
What do you aim to achieve in your workplace as a Union Delegate?
I’d like to see all the staff in my store belong to the Union.
I have a good relationship with my managers, and I want to work with them for the good of all. I hope I lead by example.