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Australia Metro Trains boss sees merit in mandatory vaccinations

12:20  20 september  2021
12:20  20 september  2021 Source:   theage.com.au

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Mandatory Covid jabs are also expected to be introduced for “certain” categories of travelers, Alghabra said. While the minister did not provide any timeframe for this provision, the government is working to deliver it “as quickly as possible.” “This includes all commercial air travelers, passengers on interprovincial trains , and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations, such as cruise ships The looming vaccination mandate swiftly came in for a barrage of criticism, with some accusing the government of overstepping its powers in the desire to speed up the inoculation drive.

In a massive overreach of government power, Joe Biden said federal and private employers must require their workforce to get vaccinated – or else. This move from the Democrat who once preached ‘unity’ could lead to national ruin. Despite pledging in the past that he would never force Americans to roll up their sleeves for a mandatory vaccine , that is exactly what President Joe Biden announced this week to a nation already sick and tired of masks, lockdowns and political infighting.

The boss of Melbourne's suburban railway operator, Metro Trains, has said mandatory vaccinations should be considered for public transport workers, warning an increase in cases within the workforce running the city's rail network is inevitable.

Following a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria's regional rail operator, V/Line, which has shut down the regional rail network for under two weeks, Metro chief executive Raymond O'Flaherty has warned that a similar outbreak could have easily happened at Metro. © Getty Following a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria's regional rail operator, V/Line, which has shut down the regional rail network for under two weeks, Metro chief executive Raymond O'Flaherty has warned that a similar outbreak could have easily happened at Metro.

Following a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria's regional rail operator, V/Line, which has shut down the regional rail network for under two weeks, Metro chief executive Raymond O'Flaherty has warned that a similar outbreak could have easily happened at Metro. Two positive cases within V/Line have grown to seven since last Friday.

Mandatory jabs being considered for Victorian construction workers

  Mandatory jabs being considered for Victorian construction workers The state government has put the building industry on notice to comply with public-health orders after construction sites emerged as coronavirus hotspots. Victorian Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas issued a stern warning to the sector on Monday, saying its permitted worker status was not guaranteed, following reports of people working maskless or dropping their guard on meal or drink breaks."We'll do everything that we can to ensure that the construction industry can continue in a COVID-safe way, but I have to say this … employers, unions are on notice.

The question of whether employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccination of their workers is important, not only for the workers but also for the drive to vaccinate enough of the US population to create herd immunity. A significant fraction of the population is still reluctant to get vaccinated or refuses to be inoculated against COVID-19. To date, most healthcare organizations haven't mandated vaccination of their workers. And if the KFF report is accurate, the small number of health systems and post-acute care facilities that do require vaccination may not be on firm legal ground.

In Tasmania, vaccines will be mandatory for aged care workers as of Sept. The vaccine mandate will also include air, train and cruise ship travellers. Greece on July 12 made vaccinations mandatory for nursing home staff with immediate effect and healthcare workers from September.

The outbreak prompted government warnings that tearooms have become a dangerous place within the rail and construction industries and a move to make vaccinations mandatory in the construction sector, prompting a violent protest outside the Melbourne office of construction union the CFMEU on Monday.

Mr O'Flaherty said he was encouraging all staff to get vaccinated unless they had an underlying medical issue and was "pushing that message pretty hard", including working with the rail union to allay vaccination fears.

It was not the company's current policy to mandate vaccinations — a rule that would be enforced in lockstep with government — but he believed the idea had merit and should be considered for all transport modes.

Why is the sanitary pass compulsory in the TGV but not in the subway?

 Why is the sanitary pass compulsory in the TGV but not in the subway? © Yves-Marie Quemener / West-France The departure of a TGV in Quimper station (Finistère) in May 2020. Stock Photo. Since August 9, the sanitary pass is mandatory in TGVs, aircraft, intercity and night trains but it is not required in the TERs or the subway. Why ? Elements of explanation. "Why is the sanitary pass asked in the TGV and not in the metro or the RER? , Application Patrick, a Puteau Player (Hauts-de-Seine).

While the Australian Government has said the coronavirus vaccine won't be mandatory , some industries may insist their workers get the jab, experts say. Key points: Experts say the aged care industry needs a consistent approach to a vaccination roll-out to protect vulnerable Australians. But what might be considered reasonable in the context of aged care or a hospital is likely to be different to an office. They say punitive measures unlikely to boost immunisation numbers against COVID-19.

US President Joe Biden will instruct all employers with more than 100 workers to force their staff to get vaccinated or to submit to weekly Covid-19 tests. Companies refusing will face stiff fines. Earlier, White House officials told the media that Biden has also signed an executive order making vaccination obligatory for all 2.5 million federal employees and other outside contractors, with no option for testing as an alternative. “This is not about freedom, or personal choice,” Biden said in his address to the nation on Thursday afternoon.

Vaccinations are mandatory for public transport workers in New York and all public-facing staff at Metro's parent company, MTR, in Hong Kong.

"We're not mandating vaccination at the moment, that's not our policy; it's still one of encouragement. However, this space is moving really quickly. You can see the discussion around the construction sector. I think in the coming weeks this is going to evolve very quickly into other public sector areas like transport and other essential services," Mr O'Flaherty said.

"My view is it's going to have to be looked at. It already is in other public transport networks around the world."

More than 80 per cent of staff indicated in a recent Metro survey that they received at least one vaccine dose or planned to get the jab.

Metro is considering options for how to deal with workers who do not get vaccinated, including rapid antigen testing before work and weekly COVID-19 tests.

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In what could be seen as overreaction, Canberra has floated forcing people to take a Covid-19 vaccine or be barred from entering public places – but then struck an emollient note, saying no one will be mandated to take the jab. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made some headline-grabbing remarks earlier on Wednesday, telling compatriots that the Covid-19 vaccine is to be "as mandatory as you could possibly make it." The only exemption from the compulsory vaccination would be for some unspecified "medical grounds," the premier clarified, speaking to a Melbourne radio station.

He likened a vaccine mandate to forcing everyone to wear a mask, in that getting 100 percent of the population to comply would be impossible. But he said he would go to all 50 governors and get them to direct their states' citizens to comply with a mandate . Asked what he would do if not all governors Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under

"I don't have the answers yet," Mr O'Flaherty said.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union's Victorian secretary, Luba Grigorovitch, said the union was on a "unity ticket" with Metro in encouraging workers to get vaccinated.

But the union does not support a mandate, warning that would erode trust and not be effective. This matches the position taken by the CFMEU.

"We have found that the best approaches have given power, choice and opportunity to employees and ensure their vaccination experience can be a positive one," Ms Grigorovitch said.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that vaccinations would be mandatory for sectors beyond aged care, construction, and freight. Healthcare is the next sector in which workers will have to be vaccinated to continue working.

Former deputy chief health officer Professor Allen Cheng said there were many ways industries could encourage people to get vaccinated without a mandate.

This could be done through education, requiring workers to report if they have been vaccinated and helping them make bookings or adjusting shift times to make it easier for them to get the jab, the infectious diseases expert and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation co-chair said.

"I think the important question for most industries is, ‘Are there other ways to achieve high vaccination coverage without having to resort to a mandate?' " Professor Cheng said.

Mr O'Flaherty said that as restrictions eased in coming months while the Delta strain circulated in the community it was "inevitable there are going to be more cases" within the rail network.

The operator has since opened up more meal rooms and segregated teams to avoid the hundreds of drivers based at Flinders Street having to eat in small rooms at the same time.

The Transport Department's head of transport services, Nick Foa, said:"The Department of Transport has worked closely with the Department of Health and our public transport operators throughout the pandemic to ensure public transport continues to run while keeping passengers and staff safe."

Sydney commuters prepare for no trains .
NSW train drivers will strike on Tuesday causing major disruptions across the public transport network as negotiations continue for a new enterprise agreement.Train drivers will stop working across Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink from 9am until 1pm as part of ongoing industrial action.

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