HSR Profile — A Sticky Situation

Meet Kirk from Sugar Australia. Kirk is a fourth-generation sugar worker and has been a union member for 20 years. He is a sugar boiler and pan operator. The person who turns liquid sugar into crystals which means he processes thousands of tons of sugar a time.

Kirk says joining the union was an easy decision. “I’ve been in unions since I was 15. It’s just smart to be a union member. The protection, the resources and in these days the backing the union provides is important.”

The process for Kirk becoming a Health and Safety Representative was a stepped one with him learning about the role at each stage. “The HSR I was deputy to moved to another shift, and it was time for me to have a go. I did all the union training, and it’s essential that I’m there looking out for the rest of the shift. Management turnover is high, so we’ve got to keep an eye on things.”

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