28 June 2021

Morrison’s vaccine and quarantine failures mean we are going to keep having lockdowns, so we need to make the burden fair: “Lockdowns socialise the burden of public health responses. It means that the worker who may be bullied into putting themselves at risk by their employer can more easily say no, or is in fact mandated to say no. Paying people to stay at home is also part of socialising the burden. All places where the virus can readily spread, including all indoor non-essential venues such as retail outlets, gyms, hairdressers, restaurants and bars, must be closed. All workers who can, should be told to work from home and their workplaces closed. JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments should be restored to their previous levels, and paid pandemic leave made available to anyone who needs it while awaiting test results, quarantining, or unable to work because they have the virus. This is the opposite of the approach of the NSW government, which has emphasised individual responsibility and offered no support to those who lack the means of individually keeps themselves safe. These new measures privatise COVID responsibility to individuals with the least cost to business and the government. It’s the same logic and politics as criminalising the limo driver for the failures in the government’s public health measures. Individual responsibility in a pandemic just means the rich avoid the disease and the loss of profits while workers bear the burden of disease and suffering and economic loss.”