Construction vaccine mandate unfortunate, but ‘it is what it is’: Victorian union boss

COVID-19 vaccinations will be necessary for workers in Victoria’s building industry, according to the head of the state’s construction union, but “extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures.”

While he and other industry leaders were “all for vaccination,” John Setka told 3AW Melbourne on Tuesday that workers should have a choice.

He was back on the station on Thursday afternoon, following news that Victorian construction workers must prove to their employers that they have had a first shot of the COVID-19 vaccination by Thursday, September 23 at 11:59 p.m.

He explained that he would rather have a dialogue with people and attempt to persuade them why they should do it and dispel some of the urban myths. But it is what it is – a global epidemic, a unique scenario, and he believes that extreme circumstances sometimes call for drastic actions.

Mr. Setka stated the concern about COVID-19 cases emerging from construction sites and that the government had to follow professional medical advice. 

He also said that when enforcing the vaccine mandate on worksites, management teams and builders would be fined if they allowed unvaccinated people to work.

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