Two Whanganui union leaders say there is a degree of vaccine hesitancy among some workers, as the Government moves to establish mandatory vaccination policies across a number of industries.
Assistant national secretary of Unite Union, Gerard Hehir, said some members, who are fast-food and hospitality staff, had raised concerns about the idea of mandatory vaccination.
"Like the rest of society, there is hesitancy amongst some staff. Some don't want to be vaccinated, and have been in touch sharing that view," Hehir said. "It's fear. It's fear from stuff they've read online - it's misinformation and they've been lied to."
Hehir, who is based in the Manawatū/Whanganui region, said the union had looked at overseas examples where vaccination mandates have been put in place, and says that when it comes down to losing your job or getting a jab, most take the latter option.
"There is a lot of noise, but when push comes to shove, it's less than 1 per cent that actually quit their jobs.
"It is stressful for some, sure, but you know what else is stressful, being in ICU."
John Woodhead, Whanganui branch secretary for the New Zealand Meatworkers and Related Trades Union, said that while meatworkers do not currently fall under the mandate, some workers are opposed to vaccination overall.
"The site I work at, the company have been great providing a service for people to get vaccinated. They provide transport, won't dock your pay, and subsequently, we've ended up with a very high vaccination cover.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"But there are some people who are hung-up about it, and that'll be a reality on any site."
Woodhead said that while the union didn't have any indication that a mandate could be on the horizon, if such a decision was made it could prove challenging.
"I don't think you'll see companies racing to get rid of staff if a mandate came along. We're dealing with an industry that just can't get people.
"I suppose you could put people in a different part of the site without having to get rid of unvaccinated people. If they can accommodate them without losing them, I think that'll be the key."