Single-use plastic bag bans are now in place across Queensland and Western Australia and all Coles and Woolworths stores Australia-wide.

The SDA, the union for retail and fast food workers, is running a “Don’t Bag Retail Staff” campaign as part of their ongoing work to stop abusive and violent behaviour from customers towards retail and fast food workers.

The union is supporting members through the change and creating community awareness to remind customers not to take out any frustrations about the new bans on the staff serving them. 

A series of online video and radio ads ran leading up to and following the bans, which was complemented by materials for use in stores. The campaign has received national media attention over the last few weeks and received a positive response from several employers, SDA members and the wider community.

The SDA welcomes the NRA’s support for our campaign and their partnership with the SDA on industry wide efforts to stop abusive and violent behaviour towards retail workers.

The SDA consulted with employers in the industry and employer associations in the lead up to the bans being put in place.

 “While this will be a big change for employers, customers and retail staff, with a small amount of patience and preparation, together we can achieve the very worthy outcome of reducing plastic in our environment and our oceans,” said SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer. 

“We understand that some customers may be frustrated by this change but there is absolutely no excuse for abusive or violent behaviour towards retail staff,” he said.

The key messages of the campaign called on customers to:

  • Remember to bring their own reusable bags
  • Keep reusable bags clean to avoid unhygienic or dirty bags
  • Bring enough bags for all their groceries as overloading bags is unsafe

Abusive or violent behaviour about the new bans should not be tolerated and the SDA urged retail staff to report any incidents to their supervisor.

The SDA reminded retail staff about their rights under the new bag rules and to always follow safe work practices.

The SDA’s No One Deserves A Serve campaign is working to prevent abusive and violent customer behaviour and build better protections for workers.

SDA research involving 6,000 retail and fast food workers last year found that more than 85% had experienced abuse from customers at work.

Watch the online ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzzUb6q5s-U.

Read more at www.national.sda.com.au/dontbagretailstaff