On 20 April 2022 the NSW and Victorian Governments announced significant easing of COVID restrictions.

Retail and Fast Food workers have been at the frontline throughout the pandemic. Vulnerable workers and workers with vulnerable family members have navigated the pandemic.

Many have become gravely ill with COVID. Some retail and fast food workers have died of COVID.

Since the start of 2022 – in just 16 weeks – COVID has been responsible for more than double the number of deaths in Australia than all those in 2020 and 2021 combined.

The Federal and State Governments have abandoned retail and fast food workers. The lifting of many restrictions over the past 4 months has been disastrous for our safety.

RAFFWU demands all state and federal governments to establish a special Transition Fund to allow vulnerable workers or those workers with vulnerable family members to leave the sector.

The Transition Fund would pay 12 months wages and fund unlimited tertiary education – at TAFE or University – for these workers.

All workers, including casual workers, would have access to the Transition Fund.

Transition Funds have been used in the past to assist workers – such as timber workers into other careers such as tourism and internationally for coal workers to leave that sector.

The Federal and State Governments want to remove COVID restrictions but must take responsibility for how it impacts on workers at the frontline.

RAFFWU demands the fund be immediately established and available to workers.

 

Authorised by Josh Cullinan, Secretary, RAFFWU, Clifton Hill, 0416 241 763