News Corp mandates jab for Sydney printers
News Corporation has told all its Chullora print staff not to come to work next week unless they have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine by Sunday.
Chullora is on one of the Sydney LGAs of concern, which meant that staff living outside that LGA were already required by NSW Health to have at least one shot of the vaccine by Monday, now the media giant has extended the requirement to all staff.
The Chullora site now prints all Sydney’s main newspapers, including those published by News and those published by Nine (formerly Fairfax), including the Telegraph, The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.
The move by News is the latest by a major company, and will likely be replicated all over the country, as employers large and small face the nightmare scenario of an unvaccinated staffer bringing Covid into the workplace, resulting in shutdowns for deep cleans. Food packaging outfit SPC was first to mandate vaccinations, Qantas the first high profile business. All business are now having to consider how they approach vaccination in the workplace, walking a fine line between the rights of those who don't want to be vaccinated with the rights of the bigger group for a safe workplace, and the rights of the business owner not to be shut down for deep cleans.
The AMWU supports vaccinations and the public health order, but is against company-directed mandatory vaccinations. It wants a co-operative approach. News has already said it will offer on-site vaccinations.
Ultimately mandatory vaccination requirements will be put before the courts. The FWC has issued four tier guidance, under which it says businesses in the top two tiers - such as aged care organisations – could mandate the jab. Manufacturing is not in one of those tiers, however for employers in areas of high transmission the FWC has signalled that it may be reasonable to do so, but again says it will be up to the courts to decide.