Australia’s largest telephone company considering vaccination obligations for 8,000 frontline staff


Telstra, one of Australia’s largest operators, has begun to consider mandating vaccines for its 8,300 frontline staff.

CEO Andy Penn suggested on Monday that vaccination would be a condition of employment.

“Our team is farther away from Australia than most other companies, to remote towns far from our city,” Penn told staff in an email received by AAP.

“We are part of these communities and we have a duty to keep them safe and good in order to protect each other,” he added.

“And as we approach the typical Australian disaster season, having a fully vaccinated team will make it easier for people to move across borders to assist in the event of a natural disaster. I hope that, “he said.

Telstra is proposing to set a deadline of October 15th for the first jab and November 15th for the second jab. Mandates do not apply to teleworkers, only to those who interact with customers.

Mr Penn said the company would consider exceptions for medical reasons and, if justified, would try to find their new role. If that is not possible, employees may face medical retirement or retirement.

Weekly discussions with staff, unions and customers.

Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, with more than 29,000 employees.

A representative of the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union said Telstra needs to be careful about dismissing workers with a true medical exemption.

“The law doesn’t specify this, public health measures don’t, and we’ll challenge this very strongly,” she told AAP.

Telstra’s announcement will come after food maker SPC and airline giant Qantas have decided to require staff to be vaccinated.

However, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci, one of Australia’s largest food retailers, has downplayed similar offers to his company.

Federal and state governments (New South Wales and Victoria) have curbed the spread of COVID-19, businesses and economies.

The National Cabinet, an intergovernmental organization involving the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders, agreed on a four-step immunization roadmap in late July.

The country is currently in Phase A and is working to vaccinate 70% of its population. This will trigger Phase B, which will significantly lift stay-at-home orders and restrictions throughout the country.

Phase C is triggered when the vaccination level reaches 80%. This allows governments to start traveling abroad and use “highly targeted” blockades.

In recent months, public dissatisfaction with the blockade has increased, with increasing government-mandated restrictions, mandatory vaccines, or protests and petitions against passports.

Daniel Y. Ten