Unions demand assistance as businesses struggle through ‘unofficial lockdown’

Unions are calling for an emergency meeting with the federal government for urgent financial support over recent Covid struggles.

Businesses are again having to close in what’s been dubbed an ‘unofficial lockdown’ due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant impacting employees as either positive cases or close contacts.

While employees themselves are losing hours due to businesses having to close.


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The Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus has told The Today Show that the federal government needs to do something to help.

“There’s like an ‘unofficial lockdown’.

“So many people are losing hours and losing their jobs and being stood down because businesses are closed.

“And there’s no support this time around!

“So we really need him to understand what’s going on,” Ms McManus told Nine.

Unions are particularly calling for free rapid tests to be mailed out and for paid pandemic leave to be extended to all close contacts.

While for the workers in key supply chains, unions are calling for a change to the isolation requirements, particularly in the food and grocery production, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Queensland and New South Wales have already instigated some changes, but National Cabinet will discuss a more streamlined approach when it meets this week.