The Spotless Dandenong laundry has been shut down after a Department of Health and Human Services investigation into the company’s handling of three positive cases at the site.
Union members took a stand for their safety and the safety of the community, refusing to go to work until the outbreak had been properly investigated.
Health authorities have advised any worker who has spent more than 30 minutes at the site since July 6 is considered a close contact, who must be tested and remain in quarantine for 14 days.
The site was shut down at close of business yesterday (Thursday 30 July), but workers still don’t know what entitlements they will receive.
Attribute to United Workers Union Director Godfrey Moase:
“Spotless was forced to act because union members took a stand. If it wasn’t for the workers, this outbreak could have been much worse.
“Spotless Dandenong workers are low-wage migrant workers who have acted together and swiftly. They acted in the interests of the entire community and should be congratulated for their service.
“We are calling on Spotless to pay all workers who now have to self-isolate as per the DHHS guidelines, including the labour hire staff contracted in from Excel Recruitment yesterday.
“To beat COVID-19 we need to back in workers standing together, and we need everyone to have access to paid pandemic leave. Every single worker. No exemptions.”
Many workers had refused to go in to the site this week due to serious safety concerns.
Instead of managing the COVID-19 risk appropriately, Spotless took these workers to the Fair Work Commission seeking to order them back to work.
The Fair Work application was dropped yesterday.