FACT CHECK UPDATE: In the original version of this story, we included the full video posted by Graham Hood in which he falsely claims the WHO has declared the Marburg virus the next pandemic and that vaccines are already under development.
‘Captain – you must listen!’ implored Graham Hood, a pilot with 53 years of experience in the industry. He has taken to social media platform Rumble to speak out against Qantas’ mandatory vaccination policy.
Graham has been a Qantas employee for 32 years with 35,000 hours of flight time and a proud member of the team.
This is set to change when Australia’s largest airline brings in mandatory vaccination for its staff and customers.
All aviation workers have fallen under the new Covid guidelines ‘no jab, no job’ where those who refuse to comply with vaccination will be sacked.
“Everything I stand for is now being threatened by a ridiculous mandate I cannot support.”
Graham sent a passionate plea to Australians regarding the plight faced by pilots. His peers are highly trained men and women who have been loyal employees. Suddenly, they face dismissal because of personal health choices that have always been protected by law.
“I am NOT against vaccinations,” clarified Graham, whose mother has been vaccinated by Pfizer and has himself had many vaccinations in the past.
“Australia – you must listen! I am putting my career – my 53-year career – towards an ignominious end by making this video. I don’t care.”
Taking a stand against Qantas and the government over mandatory vaccines places employees at financial risk.
Refusing a Covid vaccine is likely to lead to them being sacked, but so is publicly speaking out against the health orders. Graham has chosen to speak at enormous risk to his future. He is not set to retire and does not have a financial nest egg to fall back on.
“While anyone would be in favour of anything mandatory that destroys our rights as human beings under the Constitution is beyond me.”
Qantas published its vaccine requirement on its website.
The Qantas Group will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of the national carrier’s commitment to safety.
Frontline employees – including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers – will need to be fully vaccinated by 15 November 2021 and the remainder of employees by 31 March 2022. There will be exemptions for those who are unable for documented medical reasons to be vaccinated, which is expected to be very rare.
The policy follows consultation with Qantas and Jetstar employees including a survey sent to 22,000 people to seek their views on vaccination. The 12,000 responses received makes it one of the biggest single surveys on this topic in Australia. The results showed that of those who responded:
89 per cent had already been vaccinated or are planning to be.
4 per cent were unwilling or unable to get the jab.
Around three-quarters think it should be a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated and would be concerned if other employees in the workplace weren’t vaccinated.
Thousands of aviation workers supporting international flights in New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand are already required to be vaccinated by those jurisdictions. Multiple airlines around the world have also made it a requirement.
Qantas has encouraged a socially coercive environment leaving undecided members of staff feeling as if they have been bullied into capitulating.
This was done by conducting surveys and publishing verbatim comments from those surveyed without reference to traditional employee rights and privacy laws.
“I don’t want to work with anyone that has not had it. Why should I come to work and have other co-workers that come make me sick?” said one comment, published by Qantas on their mandatory vaccination information page.
Raw data from heavily vaccinated areas in Israel, Singapore and Iceland show that fully vaccinated staff are still capable of spreading Covid - including an outbreak among the fully vaccinated at Changi Airport.
"Having a fully vaccinated workforce will safeguard our people against the virus but also protect our customers and the communities we fly to," said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce. "It's clear that vaccinations are the only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures and for a lot of Qantas and Jetstar employees that means getting back to work again."
Qantas is also using vaccination status as a system of 'reward' for its customers, though one could argue that denying Australians the right to travel on the national carrier is more accurately described as an abuse of civil liberties.