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Unions & IR

LANDSLIDE: SDA Victorian leadership re-elected with 90.1% of vote

michaeldonovan While the leadership of the nation is still up in the air, the Victorian Shop Assistants Union secretary Michael Donovan was left punching the air after an emphatic 90.1% of his members re-elected him and his team.

Donovan is probably accustomed to getting strong results but this one occurred with a lot of interest in the ballot, with some 34% of members voting, an unusual occurrence with such a high percentage of the vote.

Some militant Left unions who run around with Eureka flags and snake heads on their union stubby holders reckon they’re a tougher outfit than the SDA but we doubt any of them enjoy this level of support from the members on whom they depend.

Michael has served the union for over thirty years starting out as a researcher and has led the union since 1996. Looks like he’ll be there for quite a while yet.

Michael’s How-To-Vote card

Michael’s campaign material


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  1. Michael Donovan is a rarity in the union movement. He is a patriot that genuinely cares about his Members – rather than peddling power within the ALP.

    Posted by Anon | September 6, 2010, 11:12
  2. Probably helped that he was the only one that sent out promotional material that told members who he is and that it was impossible to find information about his only competitor – even with a Google search. The fact that 10% of members voted for someone they knew nothing about and who was impossible to discover anything about is probably more significant that you imply.

    Posted by XYZ | September 6, 2010, 12:08
  3. Well done Michael.

    Posted by Brian | September 6, 2010, 13:11
  4. yes well done, but lets be honest, there wasnt exactly competition
    Who the hell is Sam Mete?

    Posted by Anon | September 6, 2010, 14:37
  5. The SDA is a union that survives in an atmosphere of voluntary unionism because its members wish to join. It is a great legacy to the moderates in the National Civic Council who nurtured it for 40 years before bringing it back to the ALP to buttress the right against the three (or is it 4) left tendencies – Socialism Forum ex-communists, Kim il Carrists, Watermelon Green Pledgists and possibly “community activist” trots.

    The only tragedy is that this union has not fully embraced workplace bargaining and flexibility. No doubt, its members being mainly permanent staff rather than a mobile casualised workforce have a fear of how this will play out with family responsibilities and a risk of downwards wages and conditions pressure but the real enemy is the entrepreneurial online business model that has attacked Main Street stores previously known for their niche product.

    Anyway, congratulations and please continue supporting the true believers and patriots in the ALP who want a strong, democratic, free market based, socially just Australia.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | September 6, 2010, 15:11
  6. Are you the same Giuseppe De Simone who allegedly underpays his kitchen staff??

    Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2010, 15:43
  7. Get the facts straight Anon.

    If someone applies for a job, fills in a job application and signs that application acknowledging that they will be paid under a workplace agreement, accepts the job offerred on a fixed hourly rate, asks for shifts that fit in with their study commitments, is paid in accordance with the agreement that they signed, then resigns so they can still get Centrelink benefits while being paid cash in hand from their new employer on a lower wage rate, then claims to have been underpaid so they can get more money out of their former employer to make up for the cut in their benefits due to other income, then I don’t regard that as a legitimate claim by the former employee. I regard it as state sanctioned extortion.

    If the Fair Work Ombudsman decides to prosecute this issue rather than go after the dodgy employers who don’t pay workers’ compensation and allow the rorting of social safety nets and the taxation system through cash in hand payments, then there is something seriously wrong with their priorities.

    The Greens are the only party to call for the abolition of the Fair Work Ombudsman because it is an ineffective agency. I agree but for totally different reasons.

    For the bureaucrats, it is much easier to prosecute someone who keeps meticulous records and fully documented written agreements than a fly-by-night operator.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | September 6, 2010, 16:16
  8. Giuseppe everybody knows what the SDA are about particularly those of us in the Victorian right who suffer from there in just behaviour.

    Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2010, 17:30
  9. The SDA is hardly a union, they only survive due to their collusion with the big retailers

    Posted by Former retail worker and SDA member | September 6, 2010, 22:44
  10. I notice his re-election material doesn’t mention anything about the SDA’s advocacy against abortion and gay rights…how odd

    Posted by western sydney leftie | September 7, 2010, 10:00
  11. The SDA is big enough to take care of itself but those criticising it here seem to have missed the point of this article: it’s a very popular union enjoying rank and file support that is the envy of practically all unions. In Victoria, they are clearly doing something right.

    Posted by Andrew Landeryou | September 7, 2010, 10:12
  12. the only thing that most workers know about unions is that there is some money coming out of their fortnightly paypackets … thats the extent of the union activity they see ….. NOW THATS THE REALITY!!!!

    Posted by Simba | September 8, 2010, 7:40
  13. How hard is it to look after dumb checkout chicks from Coles and Woolies anyway?

    Posted by WestBranch | September 8, 2010, 10:26
  14. The Hsu was also a great union under the steady hand of Jeff Jackson until Pig dog Fegan and Conroy destoryed it.

    Posted by Judgement day will come | September 8, 2010, 10:40
  15. The SDA a Union?? No wonder the Union movement is struggling to survive and membership is in freefall. Can someone tell me when the SDA last campaigned about anything or held meetings with its members or was involved in any industrial dispute??? Ask any of the workers at the supermarkets and they will tell you just how ineffective the SDA is and how whenever one of their Organisers turn up, they go into a back room to drink coffee with the Boss and then leaves quietly so members dont know the deals that are done.

    Posted by Sandra | September 8, 2010, 19:05
  16. The sda gave up being a real union sometime ago. Most retail workers are non union. Sda keeps the cash flow with company deals in coles and woolies and ignores the rest. One year they even copped 1% payrise to keep bosses on side.

    Workers are grateful for $16 and hour on union sites compared to the gross exploitation in the largely non union retail sector.

    If sda officials got out on the road they would be shocked by how many are paid only $10 an hour in the majority of stores outside coles and woolies empires.

    The real pity of the sda is that they do not organise on hard sites.

    We could be energizing a whole new generation on workers rights.

    Posted by Sda a company union | September 12, 2010, 10:23
  17. Is michael the same person that signed off on the McDonalds EBA that was rejected by Fair Work because it was going to drop the wages of over payed burger flipping teenagers?
    Keep up the good work ….

    Posted by ronald | September 12, 2010, 22:44
  18. Get your facts straight ronald.
    The McDonalds Agreement was approved by a Full Bench of Fair Work Australia. It passed the Better Off Overall Test against the award.

    Posted by Anon | September 13, 2010, 21:28
  19. WTF? The SDA is a Union??!!

    Bugger me!

    Posted by Edmund Egg | September 14, 2010, 12:20