Woolworths suspends ALL supply with abattoir after Covid outrage

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·News Reporter
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Woolworths has suspended all supply from a meat provider's South Australia abattoir which allowed employees to continue working despite being infected with coronavirus.

Teys Australia allowed a number of asymptomatic employees at its Naracoorte facility to work while infected with coronavirus.

SA Health is aware of this and allowed "a small group of critical staff who have tested positive" to continue working in an isolated area away from others.

People queuing at Woolworths at West Torrens in Adelaide, Australia.
Woolworths has suspended meat supply from Teys Australia's abattoir in South Australia. Source: Getty Images

It was understood this plan was in place from Monday to Thursday last week as the meat industry struggles with supply to supermarkets and fast food outlets due to coronavirus.

Anyone feeling unwell at the Naracoorte plant was told to stay at home.

But Woolworths has since decided to suspend all supply from Teys Australia’s South Australian abattoir.

“We have suspended all supply through Teys' South Australian facility while we work with Teys, SA Health and Safework SA to understand the protocols currently in place for their team and operations,” a spokesperson for the supermarket said.

“We were not involved in the decision approved by SA Health to introduce exceptional temporary Covid measures at the site last week.

“We expect all of our suppliers to adhere to the Covid safety protocols set by their relevant state authorities.”

Earlier, Woolworths said it had been told by Teys Australia that no Covid-positive workers would show at the facility on Monday.

Teys Australia told Yahoo News Australia this too, adding no one who had tested positive for coronavirus in the past seven days would be at the plant.

It said approved workers with Covid last week had to be separated from their colleagues until 10 days after their diagnosis.

All employees were also required to be fully vaccinated, wear PPE and practise social distancing.

'It must be stopped': Calls for Covid-positive workers to be sent home

Workers were also reportedly told to wear different coloured hairnets to identify as Covid-positive or negative, a claim which angered the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Michele O’Neill.

“Workers are being forced to wear coloured hairnets to say they are infected. This is outrageous behaviour,” she said.

It was a sentiment held by shoppers on social media too.

One woman called on Woolworths to tell Teys Australia not to make people work with coronavirus.

“This endangers all of us. Companies treating people like this will not be forgotten,” she tweeted.

One man tweeted calling for people not to buy meat from the supermarket, while another woman said she would boycott the supermarket as the hashtag "WTFwoolies" started trending on Twitter on Saturday.

“It must be stopped, if nothing else people need time to recover,” a second woman tweeted.

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