The Victoria Construction Union leader says it is unfortunate that COVID-19 vaccinations are mandatory for workers in the state’s industry, but “extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures.”
John Setka told 3AW Melbourne on Tuesday that if he and other industry leaders were “all for the vaccine,” workers should have a choice.
On Thursday afternoon, he was back at the station, responding to news that Victorian construction workers will have to show their employers proof that they received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 23. .
“I prefer to have the conversation with people and convince them of why they should be doing it and try to dispel some of the urban myths that we have heard about,” Mr. Setka said. Drive host Tom Elliott.
“But that’s what it is – it’s a global pandemic, it’s an unusual situation and I think extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures.”
Mr Setka said there were obviously concerns about COVID-19 cases coming out of construction sites, and that the government should follow the health advice of professionals.
“You know what, we have to rebuild this whole place – the country – and sooner we’ll start doing the things we love again; time with families, the weather is improving… I respect people’s right to be anti-vaccine but, you know what, I haven’t heard of a roadmap or a plan that they have.
“Maybe it’s just to stay locked up forever, I don’t know.”
Mr Setka said when it comes to enforcing the vaccination mandate on construction sites, management teams and builders would be fined if they let unvaccinated people work.
“We had COVID marshals from the start,” he said.
“There may be instances where you have coworkers saying to coworkers, ‘Sorry, you can’t come in.’
“It’s a sad situation. Hopefully people … take it seriously and don’t turn on each other. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s a global pandemic and we all have to work together to try to get through it. “