This week, Australian Unions has launched a national campaign to encourage working people to get vaccinated to support essential workers and those who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
This pandemic has affected us all.
Working people have had their incomes and jobs devastated by lockdowns. Many essential workers will continue to be exposed to the public and face a higher risk of contracting the virus. Healthcare workers in particular face months of trauma that can only be shortened by people getting vaccinated.
For the last 18 months, union members have fought and won JobKeeper, higher income support for the unemployed and stood down, paid pandemic leave, paid vaccination leave and safe workplaces. Our efforts saved jobs, livelihoods and lives.
Every worker and every member of the community has been impacted by this pandemic.
And now, with vaccine supplies finally increasing, the only way out of lockdowns and to save lives is for people to get their shot as soon as possible.
The union movement is encouraging all eligible Australians to get vaccinated to support the working people of our country: essential workers who expose themselves every day to keep the country running, hospital workers who face being overwhelmed with unvaccinated people and workers who have lost their jobs because of lockdowns.
We need our workplaces and communities to be as safe as possible and high rates of vaccination are the only way to achieve this.
High vaccination rates are also the only way to avoid the crippling lockdowns which have cost working people big time.
The choice to get vaccinated is one with life or death consequences, not just for you but for all the people you interact with, including frontline and essential workers.
We do not want to see what is happening in the United States in Australia, where people listened to conspiracy theories on Facebook instead of doctors and ended up in ICUs as a result.
Vaccination is how we support each other and build a community with a strong shield that will keep us all safe.
How strong our shield is depends on all of us making the choice to get vaccinated. We need everyone to do their part so we can protect each other.
When we all work together, when we all get vaccinated, we can defeat this virus.