What is the SDA?

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is a trade union representing workers in the retail, fast-food and warehousing industries. Across these industries we fight for better wages and conditions and offer value for money membership.

The SDA is made up of over 33,000 members in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Broken Hill. Members have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the SDA can protect their rights at work. The SDA offers help to its members at all levels, from the shop floor to the Fair Work Commission.

For a comprehensive look at the SDA’s services, click here >


The History of the SDA

The SDA has looked after the rights of retail workers for more than 130 years.

In March 1890 the Shop Assistants’ Union of South Australia was formed in Adelaide.

18 years later in 1908, unions representing retail workers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia joined together to become Federally registered as the Shop Assistants’ and Warehouse Employees’ Federation of Australia.

In 1972 the union changed its name to the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association.

As a result of the union’s hard work and dedication since the 1890’s, SDA members are among the highest paid retail, fast food and warehouse workers in the world today.

The SDA has stood side by side with the nation’s retail workers as the industry revolutionised into its modern-day form, having endured historical events from the Great Depression to World Wars and then transformed in the 60s with the advent of American-style shopping centres, multinational companies and extended trading hours.

Throughout the years, the SDA has won historic improvements for members including the five-day week, the 38-hour week, equal pay for women,  parental leave, part-day public holidays and one of the greatest achievements of all – universal superannuation.

The SDA has lead the campaign for paid maternity leave and workplace health and safety and is always at the forefront of protecting workers from unfair dismissal, termination and redundancy.

The SDA will always support campaigns that promote sensible and progressive rights for ordinary Australian workers.

With such an emphasis on the rights of its members, it’s no wonder the SDA continues to grow and prosper today.

The SDA is member focussed and will be front and centre of the right to a “fair go” if any of its members are challenged.


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