Woolworths fails to consult with members and SDA on changes

Published on: Jun 12 2019

The SDA has lodged a dispute with Woolworths in the Fair Work Commission for failing to consult with the SDA on behalf of members on the proposed changes from the new operating model, the impact of those changes and ways to minimise any impacts.

The SDA’s priority in this process and this dispute is to:

  • secure ongoing work for our members
  • to protect our members take home pay
  • to test any proposed redundancies as to whether they are genuine redundancies or not

 

Misleading Woolworths Update

Today Woolworths have circulated a “Team Update on SDA dispute”. In their update Woolworths refers to discussions with the SDA prior to, during and after a trial in some NSW stores. This is misleading.

The SDA was informed by Delegates on 12 March 2019 at a Delegates meeting that Woolworths were making an announcement the following day of some changes in store. On that day the SDA was in contact with Woolworths and were told that a trial would be announced and commence the next day 13 March 2019. A meeting to provide the SDA NSW Branch with information about the trial did not occur until after the trial started.

Early in the trial the SDA NSW Branch raised concerns on behalf of members about the process and communication and a number of issues were raised for members through the disputes procedure. There was no evaluation of how the trial had gone with any input from the SDA. The SDA was not provided with a detailed breakdown of what the impacts of the trial had been, had it been successful or could any impacts be minimised before Woolworths made a decision to implement further changes nationally. The SDA was in fact still dealing with some disputes arising from the trial when Woolworths informed the SDA and then announced that they would be making national changes.

The national changes are more far reaching than the trial. Whilst the national changes were announced there has not yet been proper consultation on the national changes with the SDA.

 

Why the SDA has lodged a dispute with Woolworths in the Fair Work Commission

The Woolworths Supermarkets Agreement 2018 requires when a major change is to occur that there is proper consultation with members and the SDA on how to avoid or minimise job losses and how to minimise any impacts from the changes. This has not happened and this is why the SDA has lodged a dispute with Woolworths in the Fair Work Commission.

The SDA will use the dispute in the Fair Work Commission to:

  • secure ongoing work for our members
  • to protect our members take home pay
  • to test any proposed redundancies as to whether they are genuine redundancies or not

 

The SDA will keep members updated on all matters to do with these proposed changes.

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