WHEN: TODAY 9:30 am Monday 3 May 2021
WHERE: Corner of Turbot and Wharf Street, Spring Hill at Brisbane’s Labour Day March.
WHAT: Frontline pathology workers expose the exploitation driving unsafe practices and unfair wages in Queensland’s private COVID clinics to a crowd of thousands on Labour Day.
WHO: Both private pathology companies have policies forbidding workers from speaking to the media under threat of retribution which is why workers are wearing hazmat suits to protect their identity. United Workers Union spokesperson Isaac Avery will be available for comment on their behalf.
VISUALS: Workers in hazmat suits standing in front of a crowd of thousands at the start of the Labour Day March. Workers will also be on stage at the Brisbane Showgrounds at 12:40 pm in RNA marquee 1.
Throughout the pandemic workers at QML Pathology (QML) and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) raised a litany of poor practices at the private pathology clinics, which conduct tests as part of Queensland’s coronavirus testing regime. These include poor infection control processes, understaffing and additional duties outside of their role threatening safety standards.
Whilst employees faced backlash after raising these safety concerns company profits skyrocketed.
QML’s profits grew 150%, approximately $200 million, during the pandemic. The board of directors have a combined salary of $6.5 million. Whilst workers are being refused a fair wage increase. A sample collector working at a QML COVID testing clinic makes as little as $23.09 per hour, leaving them $15,000 worse off than their counterparts in the public sector. It would take a worker over 34 years to earn one year of QML CEO’s wage of $1.65 million. SNP’s profits for their Australian pathology segment increased 22%.
Quotes attributable to United Workers Union spokesperson Shara Teo:
“Existing health and safety issues created by a culture of bullying and harassment, understaffing and insecure work have been brought to the forefront during this health crisis. This is what happens when healthcare services are privatised. Private pathology companies have prioritised profits at the expense of the welfare of their workers, who are currently risking their lives to support the fight on the frontline against COVID-19. Safeguarding the health and safety of pathology workers is crucial for every Queenslander and because QML and SNP have failed to clean up their act workers are raising community awareness and support today.”
Quotes from QML Pathology and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology workers who must remain anonymous available here: www.unitedworkers.org.au/unsafe-practices-in-queenslands-covid-testing-clinics
NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to the COVID safe plan on site.
Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]