Mandatory masks, EVERYONE who can working from home and sick leave for all workers: Melbourne union boss is slammed for ‘damaging’ five-step plan to keep Sydney out of lockdown
- ACTU secretary Sally McManus has released a five-point plan to stop the virus
- The union boss wants to make masks and working from home compulsory
- But critics have said that would harm the economy and cost thousands of jobs
New South Wales must take five steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus and avoid a lockdown like Melbourne, union boss Sally McManus said today.
The ACTU secretary wants to make masks and working from home compulsory, give paid leave to workers if they have to isolate and end casual shifts in abattoirs and care homes to help prevent outbreaks.
She wants every worker to have ‘adequate permanent shifts’ in one location to stop them potentially spreading the virus around several workplaces.
Union boss Sally McManus wants everyone to work from home in Sydney. Pictured: Sydney’s CBD on August 9
Care homes have been hit hardest by the virus outbreak in Melbourne, recording the most number of cases of any workplace with 2,543 cases between 1 June and 11 August. Pictured: Doutta Galla Yarraville Village care home in Melbourne
Union boss Sally McManus’ five steps to stopping the virus
1. Paid pandemic leave
2. Protect aged care homes
3. Make abattoirs safe
4. Work from home mandatory for all who can
5. Make mask wearing compulsory
In a Twitter post on Monday morning, Ms McManus said that everyone should work from home if they can.
‘If you were working from home in April, you should be now,’ she wrote.
‘Limiting the number of times people come in contact with each other limits the virus spreading.
‘Make work from home mandatory for all workers who can while there is community transmission.’
She also said that wearing masks should be compulsory after the government said they should be worn where social distancing could not be guaranteed.
‘Wearing a mask slows the virus spreading, so is a small price to pay compared to lockdowns and people dying. It changes also changes how you think and behave,’ she wrote.
The tweet was liked thousands of times, with many supporters backing her points.
But critics have raised fears that working from home is causing immense damage to the economy because businesses in the CBD are left with no customers.
‘Sally McManus is in lockdown in Melbourne so has no idea the damage this can cause in Sydney,’ NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham told Daily Mail Australia.
‘If people can safely go to their workplace and support nearby businesses on their lunchbreak or after work then they should, if that’s their preference.
‘The Sydney CBD is dead and unemployment is rising so any consumer spending helps jobs.’
Daniel Wild, Director of Research at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, said more jobs would be lost as a knock-on effect if everyone was forced to work from home.
‘It is revealing that none of Sally McManus’ suggestions are directed at getting the 1.4 million Australians who are currently out of work or who are working zero hours back into a job,’ he said.
‘NSW has gone from 22 new daily cases last week, to just eight new cases today, so it appears NSW is managing the virus quite well without Sally McManus’ policy suggestions.
‘Victoria has had the toughest lockdown measures but the most COVID-19 cases in Australia. If anything, Victoria can learn from NSW not the other way around.’
A truck driver arriving at Cedar Meats has his temperature taken on May 19 in Melbourne
Care homes have been hit hardest by the virus outbreak in Melbourne, recording the most cases of any workplace with 2,543 cases between 1 June and 11 August.
Abattoirs suffered 551 cases over the same period.
Both sectors have highly casualised work forces, meaning many workers do not have access to paid sick leave.
The federal government has offered to pay $1,500 for two weeks to a person in Victoria who has no sick leave but needs to isolate.
Under the agreement, the Commonwealth pays for Australian residents and citizens while the Victorian government picks up the bill for short-term visa holders.
The agreement is on offer to other states.
In a Twitter post on Monday morning, Ms McManus said that everyone should work from home if they can. Pictured: Residents in the Sydney CBD