Australian trade unions want prime ministers to talk about change in isolation

Transport workers believe that the decision to regain close contact isolation requirements in New South Wales is reckless and exacerbates supply chain disruption while threatening staff health and safety.

The Transport Workers Union of America is urging Prime Minister Scott Morrison to properly listen to their concerns, including the union at an urgent supply chain meeting scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

NSW Health’s decision to ease the self-isolation requirements for close contacts working in key industries such as food logistics means that employers can prioritize operational issues over worker safety.

“It’s not reckless to abolish the quarantine requirement for transport workers. Workers are being thrown into wolves by the government, which continues to ignore all warnings,” TWU state secretary Michael Caine said in a statement on Sunday. Said.

“We know that the virus can spread even if it is asymptomatic.”

He said that requiring potentially sick people to go to work would not make the supply chain healthy.

“Sick drivers won’t stock up on supermarket shelves any faster, but that will certainly help the virus cross Australia,” Kaine said.

NSW Health’s decision requires asymptomatic close contact to wear a mask and undergo rapid antigen testing daily, as the union cannot detect all COVID-19 cases with rapid antigen testing alone. It states that it does not provide sufficient protection.

“A close relationship is by definition the greatest risk of taking over. The New South Wales government is effectively discarding the last buffer left to protect the workplace,” Kaine said. Says.

“To rebuild a healthy workforce, we need to combine quarantine requirements with rapid testing. One cannot be achieved without the other.”

He wrote to the government that TWU wrote to the Prime Minister and the national cabinet in September and October to provide road transport workers with a quick test to avoid unnecessary delays and keep drivers on the road. He said he urged.

“Instead, there are fully predictable scenarios where drivers offer quick tests sold on supermarket or pharmacy shelves, but like most Australians, they don’t have access to them themselves. “He said.

Colin Brinsden