Anti-vaxxers boycott Morrisons after supermarket says it will cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff

A uniformed member of staff sorts through fresh produce in British supermarket chain Morrisons on 23rd August, 2021 in Leeds, United Kingdom. British supermarket chain Morrisons, which employs over 110,000 staff across its 500 shops, has accepted a £6.3bn ($8.7bn) takeover bid from US private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. (photo by Daniel Harvey Gonzalez/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Morrisons will no longer offer sick pay to unvaccinated workers. (Getty) (Daniel Harvey Gonzalez via Getty Images)

Anti-vaxxers have said they will boycott Morrisons after it announced it would cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff.

The supermarket revealed it would cut payments to workers who had not received both jabs and had been advised to self-isolate over coronavirus.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “From October 1, following Government confirmation that all adults have had the opportunity to get double vaccinated, we will no longer be paying full sick pay for pinged colleagues who have chosen not to be vaccinated.”

This has led to the hashtag #BoycottMorrisons trending on social media, with some people declaring they would no longer shop at the supermarket due to this policy.

A view of a Morrisons supermarket in Stratford, east London on June 21, 2021. - Shares in British supermarket chain Morrisons surged today after it rejected a £5.5-billion ($7.6-billion, 6.4-billion-euro) takeover approach as too low. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Anti-vaxxers have announced a boycott of Morrisons. (Getty) (TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images)

But others who had been double-jabbed pushed back against those complaints and added shopping at the supermarket would now be safer without people who had not been fully vaccinated.

One person tweeted: “Anti vaxxers are going to #BoycottMorrisons apparently. Excellent. I'll feel safer in there tomorrow evening when I do my shopping. Well done @Morrisons”

Another person added: “I'll be doing all my shopping at Morrisons now the anti-vaxxers are going elsewhere to buy the tin foil for their hats.”

Morrisons chief executive David Potts hopes the new rules will help with the “biblical costs of managing Covid" and encourage more staff to be fully vaccinated, the Guardian reported.

But Morrisons, which is the subject of a takeover bid, has been warned the new policy could create ethical problems.

The Unite union’s national health and safety adviser Rob Miguel told the Telegraph: “Unite absolutely encourages people who are able to get vaccinated but we also strongly believe the process should be voluntary as there are many people unable to be vaccinated for legitimate reasons.

“Such strong-arm tactics will result in issues around equalities, human rights and ethical breaches.”

Morrison’s cost-cutting comes as many businesses are reporting problems with supply chains, which has led to some products being unavailable for supermarkets.

Ian Wright, the Food and Drink Federation chief executive, warned he expected the shortages to be permanent.

He said: “The result of the labour shortages is that the just-in-time system that has sustained supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants – so the food has arrived on shelf or in the kitchen, just when you need it – is no longer working.

“And I don’t think it will work again, I think we will see we are now in for permanent shortages. Now these shortages don’t mean that you’re going to run out of food.”