On Sunday evening – 12 July 2020 – Jetstar notified the ASU that a CSO in Melbourne tested positive for COVID-19 and is now isolating at home.
Jetstar management subsequently notified the ASU that an asymptomatic employee took advantage of the pop-up testing available at Terminal 4 - Melbourne Airport, then continued to work last week until the test results were returned.
We have asked Jetstar to provide the details of the roster that the CSO worked last week so that anyone else working during those same periods can come forward, seek advice and get tested.
At this stage Jetstar has not provided the ASU with the required information.
Jetstar should contact all on-shift employees
ASU members working at Melbourne Airport last week have confirmed they have not been contacted by Jetstar.
The ASU is in no doubt that Jetstar has taken some steps to contact staff that may have been in “close contact” with the CSO. But the decision not to talk to all employees on shift last week suggests that the Company needs to urgently rethink all reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of its workers.
Our experience of other cases suggests that there is a risk that Jetstar may have overlooked or missed other workers that may have been at work and possibly come into “close contact” with the CSO.
Only 4 weeks ago another aviation industry employer at Melbourne Airport notified the ASU of an employee who tested positive. Like Jetstar, that employer did not take steps to notify all workers who had been on shift at the same time as their colleague – even though like most workers who find themselves in this difficult situation the worker did not mind sharing the shift information if it helped stopped the spread of this deadly virus.
Despite concerns identified for the employer, further staff did develop symptoms and test positive for COVID-19- a situation that could have been prevented by involving all staff and acting sooner to manage the risks.
Shouldn’t you have a say?
We all want to go back to work and be able to trust that the risks are being properly managed.
Many other employers have no problem with giving their employees enough advice to make their own decisions about whether they had come into “close contact” with a person who has COVID-19 and may be at risk.
When Jetstar refuses to work with us and provide information to the ASU that assists members to make informed decisions, it’s difficult to believe the Company is doing everything in its power to keep you safe at work.
Jetstar should provide details of the roster (dates and times) that the CSO worked last week to employees as a matter of urgency, as well as the ASU, so everyone is able to make an assessment about whether they have been in contact with any colleague that has returned a positive test result for COVID-19.
Time to join the union!
If you are not yet an ASU member – it is not too late to join. Sign up now to make sure you are supported throughout this crisis: www.asu.asn.au/asujoin