Telstra (ASX:TLS) share price struggles amid possible union action

The Communications Union disagrees with Telstra’s decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for some workers.

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a woman in a mask holds up a hand to stop a COVID-19 vaccine being held by a medically gloved hand in the foreground.

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The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is lower in morning trading amid news the company might be facing union action over its decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for some employees.

Telstra reportedly sent an email to its staff yesterday outlining the soon-to-be-implemented vaccine requirements.

The Communication Union believes workers shouldn’t be forced to get vaccinated.  

Right now, the Telstra share price is trading at $3.88, 0.51% lower than yesterday’s closing price. For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is also trading almost 0.4% lower for the day so far.

Let’s take a closer look at Telstra’s plan to make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for some employees.

Telstra to make COVID-19 jabs a requirement

The Telstra share price is lower on Tuesday amid news vaccines might soon be necessary to work in some of the company’s roles.

Telstra employees who interact with customers, the broader public, or with people vulnerable to COVID-19; or those who work in high-risk locations or can’t work from home must get their first COVID-19 jab before 15 October.

Telstra will find new roles that don’t require a jab for workers who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. Though yesterday, The Australian reported Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn stated employees who can’t be vaccinated might face “medical retirement”.

According to reporting by ABC News, 8,300 Telstra employees will be affected by the decision.

The Communications Union will be meeting with Telstra today to discuss the company’s contentious decision. The outcome of what could be a heated discussion might have an effect on the Telstra share price.

The union believes that businesses shouldn’t force their workers to be jabbed. However, it strongly encourages Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a statement, the Communications Union commented:

The Union supports our members having the choice as to whether or not they are vaccinated – not because it is a popular view amongst some of our members, but because it is based on the current public health advice….

Unlike Mr Penn, the majority of our members have been on the front-lines of this pandemic response putting their safety, and that of their families, at risk so that people in situations like his can continue working from the safety of their homes.

If he thinks he can sack those same essential workers who may have genuine medical exemptions, he is sorely mistaken.

Telstra share price snapshot

Despite today’s slump, the Telstra share price has been performing well lately.

It has gained around 29% year to date. It is also nearly 35% higher than it was this time last year.

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