More than half a million casual workers in Victoria will be facing increased uncertainty this week as the Morrison Government refuses to assist workers caught in a lockdown caused by its own failures on quarantine and the vaccine rollout. 

Workers in insecure work in Victoria are trying to stretch last week’s pay this week, facing the first week-long lockdown since the Morrison Government prematurely ended the JobKeeper wage subsidy in the midst of the pandemic.

The withdrawal of JobKeeper combined with the failure of the Federal Government to meet any of its own targets for the vaccine rollout, let alone keep pace with comparable developed economies, has left working people exposed.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil: 

“The Morrison Government bears direct responsibility for the failures in quarantine and vaccine rollout which led to this lockdown. They have made a bad situation worse by withdrawing JobKeeper too soon, and refusing to now put in place JobKeeper 2 targeted at the workers and businesses who desperately need it.

“We know that huge numbers of the more than half a million casuals in Victoria will lose hours and pay this week due to the lockdown and lack of support from the federal Government. 

“Casuals in Victoria this week want to hear why Prime Minister Morrison doesn’t think they deserve help, and why the Federal Government is failing to fix the vaccine rollout despite months of constant setbacks and broken promises.

“The Morrison Government should put in place JobKeeper 2 for those who need it, hand over the vaccine rollout  for aged and disability care to the states, and deliver on their promise of a federally coordinated quarantine system.

“Working people should be able to rely on their Government for support when they need it. The Morrison Government this week is compounding the issues faced by hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable workers in Victoria.”