Australia News & Commentary

#BoycottWoolworths Trends After Unvaccinated Staff Are Fired

"Woolworths have terminated me for not being vaccinated... but I can still go into the store barefoot and unvaxxed tho."

#BoycottWoolworths is trending today on social media after unvaccinated staff members received a notice from the supermarket giant warning of their impending termination.

Woolworths first issued a warning to employees back in October 2021, saying: “If a team member chooses not to be vaccinated without a valid exemption, we’ll review their ongoing employment and it will likely lead to termination.”

“Everyone has the right to their personal choice, and we respect that,” the company said, “but we have an obligation to make the workplace as safe as possible and that’s what this policy is all about.”

In an email shared on social media which was said to have been sent to employees, the company told staff members:

On 21 February 2022, we wrote to you to: Inform you that you had not yet confirmed your vaccination status with us; ask you to confirm your vaccination status, indicate if you intend to be vaccinated, or if you have a medical exemption from being vaccinated; and tell you that if you continued to be unable to work, we intended to ask you to respond as to why your employment with us should not be terminated.

We have not received any confirmation from you about your vaccination status.

Therefore, it is our initial view that: the inherent requirements of your role require you to attend your workplace to perform your duties; as you are not fully vaccinated (and have not provided a valid medical exemption), you cannot attend the workplace and you cannot perform the inherent requirements of your role; and as a result, your employment should be terminated.

Another employee took to social media, saying: “It’s actually official… Woolworths have terminated me for not being vaccinated… but I can still go [into] the store barefoot and unvaxxed tho.”

As Alexandra Marshall noted in a brilliant piece for The Spectator last week:

“This leaves Woolworths joining the growing ranks of companies drowning in hypocrisy, where visitors and customers can shop while unvaccinated but staff must company. It makes as much sense as the health orders requiring young children to be masked all day at school to ‘protect fully-vaccinated adults’ and then everyone goes to the shops afterwards and hangs out, mask-less, together.”

#BoycottWoolworths indeed.