30 December 2007

The SDA: social agenda of the Catholic Right

The SDA will be a running theme throughout my blogs. This blogger's dislike for this union stems from not only the fact that it does not fight for its members but also its incredibly socially conservative agenda. Having been a member of the SDA I am well aware of how utterly backward they are.

More will be discussed about the SDA's inability to fight for its members at a later time. With regards to the conservative social agenda National Secretary of the SDA, Joe de Bruyn, stated at an ALP conference in April 2007 the following:

"It (the Tasmanian scheme giving gay couples equality before the law) robs marriage of its unique and privileged status and it puts it on the same level as a radically different type of union."

He also said:
"At a time when we are fighting to protect working families from Howard's Work Choices we are at the same time attacking the status of those same families."

Fortunately de Bruyn's comments were given the abuse they deserved.

The unionist (this blogger) recently heard, admittedly through hearsay, about what was being taught to young people being trained as delegates for the SDA. One of the first items on the agenda was to talk about the evils of homosexuality and the break down of the family. If this is true it is a sad indictment on the SDA. It is disgusting.

One has to ask how representative Joe de Bruyn is of the the members he supposedly represents. There are over 200,000 members of the SDA. And how many of them voted for Joe? Not one, due to the fact that the state branches vote in the Federal officials. Joe has led the SDA since at least the late 1970s. I am not sure when he was "voted" in so if anyone does know, I am all ears.

It is high time the SDA members around Australia took a more active interest in how their union was run. Every fourth year elections are held around Australia to fill (at least) the positions of Secretary-Treasurer. There are also other unpaid positions which help control the power (elections for these positions are staggered), but in all unions the control of day to day running lies with the Secretary.

In Queensland nominations will be called on the first Monday in May (5 May 2008) for the positions of Secretary-Treasurer and First Assistant Secretary. As long as you have been a member of the Queensland branch of the SDA for at least a month beforehand you are eligible to run for either position. You do not have to be 18 to run or vote! Check out the Electoral Commission of Queensland website on or slightly after the above date for details.

So if you're an SDA member and want people leading your union who actually understand the issues of retail workers, as opposed to using union funds to run their anti-gay, anti-abortion, conservative agenda, then put your name up to run in an election being held. It is high time REAL retail workers ran the SDA. Not right-wing ALP hacks

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