Your Stories – United Workers Union

United Workers members in the covid-19 crisis

How is Covid-19 impacting members?

Here’s what United Workers members have reported so far.
If your work has been affected, please share your story below.


wages lost


shifts lost


jobs lost

Have you been impacted?
Share your story:

Member stories from the Covid-19 crisis
Which industry / sector do you work in? *
Have you lost your job because of the COVID-19 crisis? *
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Are you an UWU member? *

Stories from
United Workers Union members:

March 27, 2020


Anxious and worry every day that I will call I have no more job.
March 27, 2020


due to this new issue in society, my work place has shut down and there are temporarily no work hours for me, I am casual, so I can not afford I pay my rent or bills! With this new crisis comes the issues people now face trying to receive compensation, us hard working citizens that work day in day out to keep the workplace going have had a struggle trying to get support! This has caused many personal issues to arrise including an increase in stress! And now to be told we can claim a certain amount of our superannuation instead of claiming any other benefits makes it even worse! Why should we dig into our retirement savings in order to servive a pandemic that we neither knew was coming nor had any choice over!
March 27, 2020


My work place has shut down and I’ve been told I won’t have a job when it ends as they have decided not to go ahead with planed renovations to the hotel
March 27, 2020


My partner and I are both Duty Managers in clubs. We both lost our jobs on Monday. We have recently bought a house and have a maorgae to pay, I’m also 17 weeks pregnant so we are really going to struggle paying our morage when either of us have any employment. We have spent the last 4 days trying to get in contact with centrelink but this is hopeless. We are scared for what’s to come and how we are going to get by.
March 27, 2020


I’ve been temporarily stood down from my job due to covid-19 and am unfortunately not eligible for Centrelink. This doesn’t only affect me but it also directly affects my husband as we are now down to one wage. We are now looking at accessing my super early just to be able to survive.
March 27, 2020


I have lost my shifts and hours..essential staff only .trying to find another job even with my skill set is a nightmare and I don’t qualify for Centrelink?!!
March 27, 2020


I am now unemployed for the first time in my life and stressed and scared about the future ahead.
March 27, 2020

Iskandar (Tim)

I’ve got bills and mortgage to pay also grocery I’ve got family to feed
March 27, 2020


Very sad with this epidemic and we hope getting better for we can work as a family again
March 27, 2020


I work in hospitality industry, in food & beverage. I was stood down this Wednesday because our restaurant was closed until further notice. No income because of that.
March 27, 2020


Can’t work.i am in isolation and i am a carer for my wife. And i am a delegat for my union. I am doing my best to help members by phone and e mail.
March 27, 2020

not sure of the virious

looking for better & reguler shifts
March 27, 2020


There is no longer any work. I am a single income house. I live alone. I have 50% of my son. I may have to stop having him over because I may not be able to afford to feed him. Unless I can get access to my super I will be in alot of trouble.
March 27, 2020

Kum choo

Unable to pays morgages and unavoided expenses ( house assessment, mobile bill, insurances, petrol, electricity and water bills). Health deteriorate because lack of sleep due to worries. Worries about centerlink unable on acting fast when the bills on due date. The end effect can cause me depressed even more about the situation which i cant do anything but just waiting government to reply fast about the application .
March 27, 2020


Stood down
March 27, 2020


Have been still working as a teacher aide in a public school. Supporting the children, teachers, coworkers and the families.
March 27, 2020


I was working full time as a head chef at a beach side restaurant when my colleagues and I got stood down when management realised the touristic season is not going to happen this year. Beside getting stood down, all casuals got terminated and one of the chef has to be terminated as well. My wife is pregnant and I just bought a house the timing couldn’t be worse and the lack of support from our employer or the government is flabbergasting. We are being disposed of instantly with no hope to find any jobs in our fields anytime soon. Being a touristy town it could be easily from 6 months or until next years season..
March 27, 2020


I have traveled interstate where i have been for the past 2 months to help care for my terminally ill father, who is now in palliative care at home. I have used up all of my leave I now have to return home and not get to spend the days with my dad because there I cannot get on another flight until June. And then have to isolate for 14 days back in WA
March 27, 2020


I am still working at present but my special needs son goes to a Ed support school and they texted me today to say the school closes Friday week! No mention that children of education department staff will be catered for! Does my child come with me to my school or will someone tell my son’s school he is exempt and will be attending. We are both well and show no signs of the virus. What category do we fall into and why are we working through school holidays?
March 27, 2020


I have been deemed retired, since last year of September due to illness, was diagnosed with Pancreas Cancer, had the operation & lost my spleen & half the pancreas, am dependent on insulin once a day, I am since a month ago in remission, but the specialist are keeping a close eye on me as I have to do blood 🩸 test every month & CTScan. Did 2 months of chemo but had severe side affects from it, so much so that if I had not stopped it & notified the cancer specialist I would have had permanent Damage. This Virus 🦠 if I contract it or even a 🤧 flu would be a life sentence. I live in a bubble since after the operation, back last year.
March 27, 2020


Very stressful working under pressure
March 27, 2020


The Social distancing of 1:5 metre rule is not happening within our factory while working on the floor with my 1:5 metres there is 4 other people out of the factory in the lunch room it is you must keep 1:5 metres away from each other but why bother they care more about production than our health
March 27, 2020


I am one of the lucky ones, my boss is making extraordinary efforts to save every employee. Having leaders that support unions and workers rights are the employers I support and continue to work for
March 27, 2020


I would like to request that health care workers are given bottles of hand sanitiser to take home because you cant buy it at the shops and due to our work it is essential for us to have at home too. Employers are able to access supply for work. Even if we workers are to buy it from employer at wholesale price… it would help us at home keep safer from be virus
March 27, 2020


Dropping $75000 a year with a mortgage to pay etc isn’t fun , but I know others are worse off than me. Don’t get the feeling the Banks are prepared to take any of the pain. Deferring repayments isn’t going to help. They need to stop charging interest.
March 27, 2020


Some parents are sending their children to school and using us as a baby sitting service, it is absolutely disgusting. We are all in this together but very few parents are considering that teachers also have young families they need to care for we deserve the rights to be parents to our own children first and foremost at a crucial time like this. We are all doing the best we can but everybody has their breaking point. Close our schools for the safety of everyone.
March 26, 2020


Due to effects on the sports clubs. Schools and now cafes having to close our business is crippled with lack of orders and staff are being stood down or laid off in groups . Atm its only a matter of time 2-5 weeks before if things continue to be stagnant that as an apprentice pastry chef / baker . I will also be stood down in the second round of lay offs . Everyones shifts have changed to remove penalty rates and no overtime as a way for the company to try and save money and keep people in a job .. as of now earning $1000 a week is impossible and we will be lucky to clear $700 before tax meaning i will be earning less than those on centerlink ..
March 26, 2020


Being one of the first of thousands here in WA as a casual CDP (chef De-Partie) to lose my job on the very first day the government implemented the social distancing restrictions and how many people are allowed to be in one place at a time. lost both my jobs in the matter of 8 hours. 40+hours of work a week gone, with no way to pay rent or bills i went into meltdown, having a night to think things through and make sure of what was needed to be done for the future, i contacted everyone i have financial commitments to, so i can organize a way to either pay later or freeze payments. Not so lucky on the insurance side of things; I’m not going to mention the name of my insurer just in case, but they were pretty much bleeding blood out of a stone, i had […]
March 26, 2020


All information provided states ‘social distancing’ I am a mammographer, so body contact is necessary therefore IMPOSSIBLE to distance myself from 25 clients daily and WITHOUT PPE!! My colleagues and I are stressed…now we been told IF/WHEN breastscreen closure we will be redeployed into the hospital! From the pot into the fire? Isnt this ludicrous???
March 26, 2020


After forced shutdown of my workplace on Tuesday and being a “casual” employee all I had was that weeks wage. My husband works in the grain industry and is thankfully still working. However I do not qualify for the stimulus package as my husband is still working and earns good money. This is all well and good however all our loans, credit cards etc were granted based on our combined income. So whilst we may have a nice home and nice car etc our repayments are reflective of our combined income and without my wage we will come under financial pressure. The stimulus package should be for all workers who have been stood down. I don’t know many people who work for the love of it and would think it is out of necessity that all most everyone works.
March 26, 2020


I’m just arrived almost 2 month ago in Sydney hoping to start a new adventure in this country wishing to stay and work here as much I can, but unfortunately the plan is almost done. I didn’t lost my job but from Monday 23th they close the venue where I was working until further notice. I applied in several place wishing to get even a part time job to cover my bills but the situation is so critic. Even in the big stores have stop to hiring. On the moment me an my parter are staying home waiting to hear good news from the government wishing to back work as soon as possible. We even dealing with our landlord to get a lower price rent because otherwise if we don’t back to work in a month we will be constricted to back in our home country, loosing a lot of […]
March 26, 2020


Lost my second job doing event security because all outdoor events have been cancelled
March 26, 2020


I m casual staff working about 90hrs a fortnight but now I don’t have shift atall because of the work shutdown .i m not a permanent resident or citizen so I can get government benefits either .i have got a pregnant wife who doesn’t work so it’s only my income that is paying the rent ,bills and hospital cost .this crisis has effected me financially but the mostly mentally .as I gotta look after my pregnant wife and soon baby on the way .
March 26, 2020


As a dental assistant/receptionist we are just in limbo. We are already noticing a reduction in patients. Some staff have been stood down and others will have hours reduced(how much we don’t know) In the coming weeks we may not have hours at all. This is every dental assistant in the field.
March 26, 2020


My little saving will run dry as my husband has not worked for a number of years and I am the only one who brings the money in to pay billd
March 26, 2020


With casinos being shut down there is quite simply no work. The job will still be there when we’re allowed to open again, but who knows when that will be?
March 26, 2020


If I choose not to go to work due to affecting my elderly parents I will need a doctors note or I do not get paid so I cannot afford to not be exposed to the virus
March 26, 2020


I wound have money to pay my rent and my bills
March 26, 2020


We ha e been provided with no extra protective gear, no professional cleaning, no provisions to stagger meal times, family grouping. No reassurance of hours or pay. Minimal communication from management about what is required in the crisis.
March 26, 2020


I’ve resigned from my job in early March as my employer wanted me to work 15-20 extra (unpaid) hours on top of my 38. I thought I would have found a job straight away, and I applied for about 20 different positions. Covid-19 was upgraded to a pandemic the week after. All the jobs I applied for have been closed due to the virus, probably the businesses are shutting down. When I contacted centerlink I’ve been told I had to wait for 8 weeks because by resigning I put myself into this position. This is fair during normal job market conditions. But now, because of the virus, there are no position avaiable because businesses are not operating and on top of it there are 1 million extra people looking for jobs too. My partner’s workplace cannot longer trade either, and basically to be waiting for 8 weeks (5 more left) […]
March 26, 2020


I am a family support worker and I take the elderly from a nursing home out into the community for community access and a elderly individual from a shared home out into the community for community access both these sites have gone into lockdown. So I have been forced to take annual leave since Wednesday 18/3 and am meant to return to work on the 6/4 but the individual house is in lock down at this stage to the 10/4 and the nursing home is independently so unsure of when or if I will be returning to work. It’s been very stressful and unsure if I qualify for any of the payments the government has announced.
March 26, 2020


I came back from the States on March 8th. I worked the first week as usual. Quarantine was not mandatory and the chaos was not as bad as today. But then the shifts were cancelled from March 16th to the March 28th. Then 10 days after I came back , at night after coming back from class my throat had a mild soreness. Therefore, I stopped going to the internship and I decided to self-isolating. In addition, my two roommates came back from New Zealand the same Wednesday. They are in quarantine. I’m constantly conflicting whether to find a new job or not. I’m concerned to infect others. But, I’m also worried about my future. I have to pay rent, food, other living expenses, and the upcoming trimester of the MBA. My savings won’t last for more than 2 months. I’m doing my best to be positive, healthy and strong. […]
March 26, 2020


Unfortunately Early Childhood Educators are treated differently. While schools in Victoria have closed to flatten the curve, childcare centres remain open. We are force to go to work even though is impossible for us to keep social distance with the children in our Industry. We feel unsafe.
March 26, 2020


I can’t pay my mortgage, my insurances, my bills. I’m a single mum of 2 boys. Work has no hours for me. I’m a casual worker & I suffer from fibromyalgia & seronegative spondyloarthritis
March 26, 2020


My wife has had her business shut down … i work in a special school with many immune compromised children ..many who have poor hygiene practices..(sneeze or cough in your face or constantly dribble).Staff gather in the lunch room together but meetings are banned.
March 26, 2020


I work in a Gym’s as a group fitness instructor and an aquatic centre so I have lost all my work
March 26, 2020


I have lost work at one of my jobs (work at the cinema) that has left me with only my high school cleaning. The school I work at is stressful as the people in charge are scared wich is causing them to lash out at the workers. We have been given more duties to perform while not being allocated more hours nor more pay. The only option we have been given is if we wish to stay at home and not risk our lives is to use up our saved sick leave first and then the COVID-19 holidays. I have a reason for trying to keep sick leave hours up for use later in the year and I know of several of the other staff that have reasons as well. I am also being told that I should remain at home due to being pregnant but am still over a […]
March 26, 2020


As a visa holder (485-post graduate visa). Even though I’m in theory still a star casino employee, I will receive no salary after the two weeks covid-19 emergency help. Considering that I’ve been hired on the 10/03/2020 I have ZERO annual leave days, also for not being a citizen or permanent resident I have no access to centerlink. So basically I’m by myself, of course I have the option to go back home and waste all the time and money that I invested to be here in the first place, without mentioning the risk that a 32 hours trip to South America might bring to my health. Also, airlines are selling tickets on highest prices, with no insurance and no guarantee if the flight will departure and if I will make to the final destination or be grounded in during scaling!
March 26, 2020


I have not lost my job , I work for activ as a over night support worker ,, I’m glad to have an income however we are being put in a high risk situation and we should be compensated , I believe for that , I care about the people I care for but it’s quite scary as they don’t understand about distance , which is impossible anyway considering many need assistance with toileting , showering ect …
March 25, 2020


My workplace is now closed. My partner and I both work there… we have three children to support. We’ve been stood down until further notice. I’ve started applying for jobs- everything- but it’s difficult with everybody also applying. I don’t think we’re eligible for any help from Centrelink so I’m feeling very anxious and stressed about what’s to come. If we don’t work, we don’t have any income at all.

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