BHP should leave health decisions to workers

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ETU / CEPU criticizes BHP’s announcement that it will demand that all workers and guests at BHP sites be vaccinated, without prior consultation with workers or unions.

The ETU’s position on COVID-19 vaccination is clear: In accordance with the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, we recommend that all members be vaccinated subject to the advice of their physician. However, the ETU is categorically opposed to the vaccinations imposed by the employer. Employers should not put themselves in the position of making health care decisions for their workers.

BHP made this decision without consultation. The mandate appears to be general, apparently without taking into account the needs of different sites or workplaces. The details of the mandate, and whether any exemptions are available, remain completely opaque. It is not known what, if any, was taken into account of the agreements already in place between not only BHP and its staff, but also between the contractors and their employees.

The ETU is gravely concerned about this move, not only because of the trampling of an opportunity for genuine cooperation between BHP and the industry at large, but also because of the risk that it will exacerbate the concerns of those already on the market. fencing.

“What should have been an opportunity to facilitate genuine debate and the dissemination of quality health advice has instead turned into a potential trigger for further anti-scientific protests and unrest,” said ETU National Deputy Secretary , Michael Wright.

The ETU and other mining unions have called on BHP to put the decision on hold until it has genuinely consulted its staff. In addition, the union is examining its options for potential legal action regarding this lack of consultation and other aspects of workplace and privacy law.

We take this opportunity to once again encourage our members to get vaccinated, subject to their own medical advice, but we also warn employers that they should not put themselves in the shoes of public health officials. Medical decisions should not be made by bosses.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization / authors and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author (s). See it in full here.


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