Vaccine mandate could cripple meat production and see prices soar, union warns
The meat workers union is calling for an exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.
It’s claimed as many as 20 per cent of workers won’t get the jab.
From Friday next week, some 1.2 million Victorians who hold authorised worker permits must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The head of the Victorian meat workers’ union wants the state government to offer daily rapid antigen tests as an alternative.
Paul Conway has told The Age he feared the industry could lose “up to 20 per cent” of staff, which would have a “dramatic effect” on meat production and prices heading into the festive season.
Some 200 police officers also remain opposed to the mandate, while a group of disgruntled teachers also plan on taking the matter to court.
And it’s not the only issue confronting the meat industry.
Patrick Hutchinson, chief executive of the Australian Meat Industry Council, said worker caps and possible meat shortages were also going to be an issue.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, but that’s what happens when you don’t consult with industry,” he told Ross and Russel.
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