Union shocked by underpayments


The trade union covering retail sector employees has expressed its shock at news of massive underpayments of staff by national supermarket chain Woolworths.

Wooloworths has admitted to underpaying about 5,700 staff by around $300 million over the past decade.

When contacted by The Bug, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association said the union had not caught up with the news.

“Really? Woolies did that?” a spokesperson who asked not to be identified said.

“I didn’t know that. Gee, that’s not nice at all is it? I mean, all those people not getting paid their fair wages for 10 whole years!”

The SDA spokesperson was equally upset when told the cases had come to light only after Woolworths’ staff had compared pay slips.

“Gee, I reckon that’s not right, is it?” the spokesperson said.

“I mean you’d think they would have some sort of organisation, a collective of employees or something similar to represent the Woolies’ workers, wouldn’t you?

“If they had that sort of organisation it could keep its finger on the pulse of what’s going on in a big business like Woolies so the company’s employees get a fair go.

“If only such an organisation existed these sorts of underpayments might never happen, or at least they could be picked up quickly and wouldn’t drag on for a decade as they did in this case.”

When asked if The Bug could speak to a senior SDA official, the spokesperson said it would not be possible today.

“Sorry mate, all of our officials are off at a workshop (main picture) to discuss the union’s campaigns again abortion law reform and voluntary euthanasia,” the spokesperson said.

“They’re also looking to see if it’s possible to revisit and overturn the same-sex marriage laws, to see if we might play a role in banning IVF treatments and to discuss who’s next  in line for a cushy Senate position.

“Besides, what have the Woolies’ workers got to do with us?”