Construction workers, Harry and Rebecca Gattis, push for mandatory vaccination class action

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Desperate construction workers in Sydney’s west and southwest say they will fight for a class action over the State Government’s mandatory vaccination rules.

Last week, NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, announced work at unoccupied construction sites would resume from Wednesday, with new worksite capacity limits and introduce minimum vaccination requirements for workers from the eight affected local government areas.

These regions include: Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta.

Workers from the specific LGAs will need to provide evidence that they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, at least one dose three weeks before attending work, or one dose of a vaccine and a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours.

Construction workers are planning a class action.

Small business owners, Harry and Rebecca Gattis, say these new rules are marginalising construction workers and they have joined the fight against the state government. 

Mrs Gattis said she even went to the lengths of donating to a fundraiser aimed at launching a class action against the government.

“This is consuming our lives,” Mrs Gattis told The Daily Telegraph. “My Husband Harry and I have 30 or 40 people calling every day looking for advice as to how to get back to work.

“I feel like southwest Sydney is under the dome and we are being discriminated against.”

Mrs Gattis said the government had “forced the construction industry to its knees in Sydney’s southwest.”

The husband and wife team run a joinery company in Minto and said they were frightened dozens of contracts would be terminated because they couldn’t get the factory to complete work.

Workers from 8 LGAs will need to provide evidence they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We cannot keep living like this, we are being treated like dogs in a cage,” she told the newspaper. “I would go without food for a week in order to fight this.

“If this goes on for another month, I will not have a business left after the pandemic, we will go under.”

Sydney Barrister, Mahmoud Mando, said he has fielded hundreds of calls from construction workers desperate to fight “unconstitutional laws and discrimination” by the NSW Government.

Mr Mando said the mandatory vaccination requirements were “not only unconstitutional, but also suggest discrimination against residents of certain parts of Sydney.”

“People are upset, indignant and traumatised over the discriminatory policy from the State Government,” Mr Mando told The Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph reached out to the NSW Government for comment.

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