How essential is shelf stacking?

By Janette Woodhouse
Monday, 17 December, 2018

How essential is shelf stacking?

2018 is drawing to a close and most of us are looking forward to a break from work. Woolworths in NSW wanted to roster on up to 5000 staff ‘volunteers’ to stack shelves from midnight to 5 am to stock shelves on Christmas Day just as happens in all other states. However, the Department of Industrial Relations rejected the request on the grounds that the request did not demonstrate that the work fell under ‘exceptional circumstances’ as required by law.

This leads to the question: Is shelf stacking on Christmas Day essential?

Obviously the answer is ‘no’ because we have got by until now without people stacking shelves on Christmas Day.

There are a surprising number of essential services that will be working right through the holiday season — the doctors and nurses in hospitals are the best-known example. But also in the hospital, catering staff are essential if patients are to be fed. The emergency services — police, ambulance, fire brigade — are expected to be on duty. As are transport workers, hotels, chefs, weather forecasters, armed services, air traffic control... There are lots of people already working on Christmas Day but I can’t see the imperative for shelf stackers to be on duty.

Let’s all take a step back, take some time out to recover from 2018 and recover from seeing all the relatives, relax and have a happy time.

This is’s last newsletter for the year — we will be back in action in the week starting 14 January.

In the meantime, have a lovely break, spend some time doing things purely for enjoyment and then be ready to start 2019 refreshed and rearing to go (which is usually pretty essential because you will need to pay the credit card bills you have accrued over the holiday season).

Image credit: ©

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