While many countries across the world have ditched Covid health orders entirely – declaring the pandemic over and the Omicron variant comparable to the flu for most people – supermarket giant Woolworths is standing by its announcement in October 2021 to sack all unvaccinated staff by February 28, 2022.
Heartbroken staff, including young mothers supporting their children, are now set to be discarded and left without a means to support their families.
‘It doesn’t make sense that customers can shop without being vaccinated or disclosing medical information, but I cannot work, it is wrong,’ said a Woolworths employee, who has come under increasing pressure from Woolworths to get vaccinated or face termination on Monday.
‘I am one of four mothers at our store who is being affected by this, 12 children between us. I am a good, hard-working person. None of my colleagues have an issue with me continuing to work with them. I am young, fit, healthy, and willing to work. I do not want to lose my job and I do not deserve to lose my job.
‘The mandates need to end.
‘No one has shown me the data, research, or evidence, or assessments to back their policy up.’
At the time of the original health order, CEO Brad Banducci released a statement insisting that the decision was based on the ‘best medical advice’.
That advice appears to have been wrong. Medical professionals across the world have since admitted that their projections about both the lethality of Covid and the effectiveness of available vaccines were not correct, particularly the original claim that Covid vaccines prevented transmission.
Originally, vaccine mandates were brought into workplaces across Australia on the understanding that they would ‘keep Covid out of work environments’. It is why the media and Chief Health Officers paralleled Covid vaccines with Polio vaccination. Instead, as predicted by many, the behaviour of Covid vaccines is much closer to those created for the seasonal flu.
Covid, in all its variations but in particular Omicron, has shown little discrimination for infection rendering vaccine mandates useless in stopping the spread. If a vaccine does not prevent transmission, then a vaccine mandate has no basis in science, let alone morality or Operational Health and Safety codes.
Vaccines have been demoted from a ‘selfless act for the greater good of the community’ to a simple matter of personal health.
The argument of vaccine mandates makes even less sense from a Woolworths perspective.
Woolworths were granted a special ‘essential’ status throughout the pandemic, before and after the vaccine roll-out. While the working-class and small businesses of Australia could do nothing but sit by and watch the government destroy their livelihoods with lockdowns and health orders, Woolworths continued to rake in cash as one of the sole operating companies.
As an ‘essential’ business, they were not allowed to discriminate against their customers based on vaccine status, leaving their shops full of unvaccinated people for the last two years. Woolworths staff, regardless of any company policy or vaccine mandates, have to work alongside unvaccinated people.
What is the difference, from a purely ‘science’ perspective, of Woolworths staff serving unvaccinated customers all day and standing next to an unvaccinated co-worker?
What is the difference, from a purely ‘science’ perspective, of fully-vaccinated Woolworths staff members catching and transmitting Covid and an unvaccinated member?
As far as anyone can tell, the only difference is the virtue-signalling image of Woolworths corporate that spends a lot of time, money, and energy advertising itself as ‘Covid-Safe’.
Like so much of the corporate virtue landscape, it is empty, unfounded, and soulless.
Woolworths, in particular, complained in January 2022 of empty shelves and staff shortages due to Covid sending their fully-vaccinated, double-jabbed staff into isolation. More than 20 per cent of staff in some stores were off work while thousands of close contacts inside supply chains were sent home.
‘When you’re shopping with us at the moment,’ announced Woolworths, ‘you might unfortunately have noticed gaps on shelves, or substitutions in your online order. Unlike the surge buying of early 2020 (who could forget the toilet paper), this is because of the number of people in our supply chain in isolation – from suppliers to truck drivers and distribution centre team members – which in turn is causing material delays to store deliveries. To give you a sense of the magnitude of the challenge, we are experiencing COVID-driven absences of 20 per cent plus in our distribution centres and 10 per cent plus in our stores.’
The situation of Covid spreading through the fully-vaccinated workforce was so bad that Acting Small Business Minister Ann Ruston made the ludicrous suggestion of inviting aged pensioners to come in and stack shelves.
You read that right. Supermarket giants and state governments – who refused to allow young, healthy, and skilled members of staff to work because they were unvaccinated – wanted to get the most vulnerable members of society into the highest risk environments. This alone invalidates the entire concept of destroying the lives of young people to protect the elderly. It reeks of the idiocy of communist regimes that do anything to protect the government order, even if it runs contrary to the purpose of that order.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to insist that Australia does not have mandatory Covid vaccination.
Perhaps he should read the letter that Woolworth has sent out to their staff, offering them a ‘choice’ to comply with vaccination mandates or lose their jobs.
The letter from the ‘Covid Support Team’ starts out by offering staff the opportunity to take Novavax – but only if they rush into it.
‘Novavax has recently been approved as a COVID-19 vaccination in Australia and will be available in Australia in mid to late February 2022.
We are aware from various surveys (including the most recent survey), listening sessions and other forums that some Woolworths team members have been waiting for Novavax as their preferred vaccine.
We are open to Woolworths team members having this choice. However, the timing is tight. If you intend to be vaccinated with Novavax, please complete this declaration survey as soon as possible, before 27 February 2022. If this declaration is completed and accepted by Woolworths, you will have until 31 March 2022 to receive two doses of the Novavax vaccine – with the required 3 weeks between doses.’
For staff that have made a personal choice not to expose themselves to the known side effects of Covid vaccines – something which companies are not liable for – they have no options remaining.
‘Team members who are not double vaccinated and who do not have an approved exemption or Novavax declaration will not be permitted to attend the workplace from 28 February 2022 and may be subject to other action under the Policy, including a show cause process which may lead to the termination of their employment.
‘Whilst we understand that deciding whether or not to be vaccinated is a personal decision, our position is that vaccination is a critical measure in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our team and customers, and providing a safe place to work and shop.
‘We appreciate that this is a difficult situation and it may be unsettling or confronting. We have support available for you, both on the issue of vaccinations and in terms of your wellbeing generally.’
No doubt the ‘support’ offered is similar to that of the government health authorities.
This leaves Woolworths joining the growing ranks of companies drowning in hypocrisy, where visitors and customers can shop while unvaccinated but staff must company. It makes as much sense as the health orders requiring young children to be masked all day at school to ‘protect fully-vaccinated adults’ and then everyone goes to the shops afterwards and hangs out, mask-less, together.
It is ‘compliance for advertising virtue’ that ultimately hurts employees. As for Fair Work – they have their eyes slammed shut and their ears blocked. If they admit that these rules were unfounded, imagine the outrage from millions of Australian workers… Not only workers that were sacked, but workers that were forced into vaccination against their will.
If you still believe that the 94 per cent vaccination figure in Australia was reached voluntarily, have a read of the stories here by people who were not given a ‘free choice’.
As for Woolworths, who is going to stand against one of the largest corporate entities in the Australian market? Who in the media has the integrity to challenge their façade of ‘virtue’ and show up the devastation, cruelty, and unscientific hypocrisy that sits beneath?
It certainly is not going to be the Prime Minister, who has washed his hands of protecting individual Australians from predatory premiers and businesses that have adopted ‘Covid-Safe’ the same way they did with ‘Woke’.
Will the once-loyal Woolworths customers approve of this illogical and unfair discrimination?
Or maybe they’ll choose to do their weekly shopping elsewhere.