As Australia continues to ease COVID restrictions, three major supermarket chains in the country are preparing to adopt a vaccine mandate that will effectively force 300K workers from across Australia to either get vaccinated, or quit, in accordance with the "no jab, no job" doctrine.
According to the Financial Review, Australia's most widely read financial journal, Woolworth's is leading the charge to impose vaccination mandates on workers across Australia's supermarket sector. So far, rivals Cole's and Aldi have already joined in with their own commitments.
However, even as the mandate is imposed on workers, unvaccinated customers will, of course, still be welcome in all of these stores, since the management and Aussie government have apparently drawn the line at threatening starvation to try and coerce people to accept the jab.
Woolworths' mandate will apply to all staff at its 1,200 retail outlets across its supermarkets and its Big W discount department stores, as well as those working in the group’s large warehousing and distribution centers, and its offices. Cole's and Aldi have issued similar mandates. Woolworth's added that it intends to make Jan. 31 the deadline for full vaccination requirement in NSW, Victoria, ACT, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania will have a deadline of March 31.
Despite all of Australia's efforts to stamp out COVID, including closing its borders and locking down half the country for most of the winter (summer in the northern hemisphere) - cases have continued to climb, forcing the Australian government to finally relent as the lockdown measures took a massive toll on the country's economy. Technically, Melbourne's lockdown measures have been in place in some form for 245 days, making the lockdown in Australia's second-largest city the longest-lasting lockdown anywhere in the world.
Interestingly, other Aussie grocery chains have decided on a different tack.
Wesfarmers, owner of Kmart, Target and the Bunnings hardware chain, is requiring all new employees to be vaccinated, but unlike its competitors, the company won't make it mandatory for existing employees because. Why? Because, as the company's managing director told the FR, the take-up rate was so high anyway through information sessions, on-site hubs and vaccination-leave arrangements, that coercing its own workers to get the jab simply doesn't make sense.
“I expect we will have a fully vaccinated workforce in the new year," he said.
Enough of them have already gotten, or plan to get, the jab voluntarily. At this point, the leading scientists have finally admitted that the concept of "herd immunity" is now a myth. COVID will most likely be endemic in the human population from here on out.