Hundreds of BHP workers across Australia are being forced to quit or lose their jobs after the mining giant won a legal challenge to enforce its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The company expects up to 700 employees, or 3 per cent of its staff, will choose not to be vaccinated, effectively leaving the business, The Australian reports.
The rule came into place from January 31 after unions lost a legal challenge fighting the mandate.
Under BHP workplace rules, anyone who does not show proof of vaccination will not be permitted on sites and their positions are currently under review.
Unvaccinated contractors will also be unable to work with BHP.
The mining giant has joined other major Australian companies, such as Bunnings, Qantas and Telstra to implement the measures.
The BHP vaccine mandate will override some state rulings that eased vaccine requirements.
‘This is a necessary health and safety measure to help protect our people, their families and communities – including remote Indigenous communities – while continuing to safely run our operations,’ a BHP spokesman said.
‘We will continue to work with our people as we implement this change.”
Stephen Smyth, president of the CFMEU’s Queensland mining division, said some workers had decided to leave BHP.
‘Some members have been pretty direct and said, ‘we didn’t get the vaccine and we’re not’. That’s it.
“They’ve moved on and found work elsewhere because there is so much work up here. It’s unbelievable.”