Prime Minister Scott Morrison will host talks with industry bosses at a closed-door meeting at 2pm today to develop plans to force supply chain workers back to the front lines despite being possibly infected with the Covid virus.
Scott Morrison has excluded workers from this meeting and the unions that represent them. Mr Morrison’s decision to turn his back on workers is a huge backwards step from the start of the pandemic, when Government, business and unions worked together to keep businesses open, keep Covid out of the workplace and, importantly, keep all Australians safe.
A reckless decision to force potentially infected supply chain workers back to the front lines would be incredibly short sighted. It will exacerbate the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the virus and put supply chain workers at risk and threatens to cripple the supply chain with an explosion of infections in the future.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Acting Secretary Liam O’Brien
“At the beginning of the pandemic, the Government worked with business and unions to keep businesses open, workplaces free from Covid and all Australians safe. Now, Scott Morrison is turning his back on workers and jeopardising the safety and security of the entire community, with secret plans hatched at closed-door meetings with Employers.
“The Australian Council of Trade Unions joins with the Transport Workers Union in urging Prime Minister Scott Morrison against proceeding with his reckless plan to force supply chain workers back to the front-line despite being possibly infected with the Covid virus.
“Forcing potentially infected staff back to work will only exacerbate the already rampant spread of the highly infectious Omicron strain throughout workplaces and the broader community, putting the safety of all Australians at risk.
“Instead of turning his back on them, Scott Morrison should meet with workers and their representatives and listen to their demands of Australians to make Rapid Antigen Tests free and accessible for all.