The union representing retail employees, including supermarket workers, welcomes the decision of the Woolworths Group to encourage shoppers to wear face coverings in all its stores in NSW from Monday.
This includes, Woolworths supermarkets, Woolworths Metro Food Stores, BIG W, Dan Murphys, BWS and ALH Hotels.
SDA NSW Secretary, Bernie Smith said "The recommendation follows calls from the SDA for wearing of masks to protect the health and safety of retail workers, shoppers and the general community.
"It is also in line with recommendations from health authorities. It should be adopted by other retailers operating in NSW.
"Enforcement of the recommendation is a matter for Woolworths, not for its employees.
"The footage over the weekend of a woman refusing to wear a mask at Bunnings in Victoria shows the type of extreme abuse and disrespect being experienced too often by retail workers right across Australia.
SDA polling, conducted by Essential, reveals the extent of the challenge: 23% of people in NSW believe being forced to wear a mask is an infringement on their personal freedom.
The polling also shows just 30% of shoppers in NSW are currently wearing masks, although 71% of those surveyed believed retailers had the right to demand shoppers wear masks.
"The bottom line is that shoppers in NSW should be wearing masks before stepping into stores.
"And remember that the frontline workers that you see when you walk into a shop are just out there trying to do the best job they can."