Union wins Teys Naracoorte backdown on workers being required to work while COVID positive

Teys Australia has bowed to the demands of workers and agreed the company will no longer compel its workforce to continue working while infected with Covid.

Teys’ dangerous and disgraceful behavior had been going on for almost two weeks.

Teys has now announced that any worker who tests positive for Covid will be able to isolate at home, to keep themselves, their co-workers and the entire community safe. After the 7 day isolation period, workers will only be required be return to work if they have remained asymptomatic for the preceding 48 hours.

Importantly, nobody will be forced to go to work while Covid positive.

This is an important safety win for the workers at Teys Naracoorte, backed by the AMIEU – the union for meatworkers, the ACTU and the entire union movement.

The Teys Naracoorte workers and their union have drawn an important line in the sand for workers safety which will benefit working people all throughout Australia.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“This is an important victory for the workers at Teys Naracoorte and working people everywhere.

“The workers at Naracoorte in South Australia, backed by the AMIEU the meatworkers union, the ACTU and the entire union movement, stood together to oppose workers being forced to go to work while COVID positive.

“Teys is a major supplier of meat to Woolworths, and the campaign of workers and supporters resulted in Woolworths suspending all of their orders to the site.

“Teys is part of Cargill, the world’s largest food business, and Woolworths is one of Australia’s biggest companies. This was an important stand against big business putting workers health and safety at extreme risk.

“This victory for workers safety by the Teys Naracoorte workers should serve as a warning to employers everywhere; unions will do whatever is necessary to ensure workers are safe at work. We will never accept the pandemic being misused as cover for exploitation or unsafe work practices.

“The ACTU and our affiliates look forward to continuing to work constructively with the decent employers of this country to get through to the other side of the pandemic, just like we have since the very beginning of this crisis.

“Scott Morrison has turned his back on working people and given up on what’s needed to keep us all safe, but the union movement will never give up. We will keep fighting for free and accessible Rapid Antigen Tests for everybody and a safe workplace for every Australian.”

/Public Release. View in full here.