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SPC cleared of wrongdoing over vaccine mandate

SPC CEO Rob Giles
SPC CEO Rob Giles welcomed the decision.

Fruit producer SPC has been cleared of any wrongdoing in its Covid-19 vaccination mandate process after an investigation by Worksafe Victoria.

Concerns were raised to Worksafe Victoria that SPC hadn’t properly consulted with its staff on the mandate, which it is required to do under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, though the safety commission found no evidence the business had breached the act.

According to SPC, these concerns were raised by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union.

“We value our positive relationship with Worksafe, and their inspectors are held in high regard,” said SPC chief executive Robert Giles.

“[However], it’s shameful that while our local resources were stretched – keeping our people informed and safe while also delivering care packages to their homes – someone, most likely within the AMWU, sought fit to test us on a technicality rather than support our efforts.”

AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy said at the time such decisions shouldn’t be left to bosses, and that vaccination is a public health matter, not an industrial one.

SPC was the first Australian business to mandate vaccination among its workers – something Victoria is now doing en masse – and last week released its own vaccine response plan for other businesses to download and learn from.

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