Employees of Australia’s canned vegetable and fruit giant SPC have complained to local media that they’re furious about mandatory vaccinations but will abide by the order to keep their jobs and livelihoods.

Shepparton Partners Collective (SPC) on Thursday became the first private company in the country to make coronavirus jabs mandatory. The company said that all of its 450 onsite staff should be fully vaccinated by November if they want to hold onto their employment.

An SPC worker, who didn’t want his name to be disclosed due to fear of getting fired, told WAToday that he was upset by being “steamrolled” into getting the shots.

“I have no choice, but to be vaccinated now and it’s quite sad because I wanted to do it under my own steam, sit back and wait for more information because I am genuinely scared,” the man confessed.

His colleague described the mandatory vaccination ruling as “a slap in the face,” adding that some of his co-workers said they were thinking about leaving the company.

He was especially angered with the way the SPC decided to announce the measure. “They went straight to the media and then we found out at the same time as the public,” he said.

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SPC’s top managers have given several interviews to the local media throughout the day, saying that it was the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus that pushed them to make the jabs obligatory.

The move was needed “not only to protect our staff, but to protect the food supply for the country,” Robert Giles, the company’s chief executive, told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He insisted that – due to its importance – the food industry must be the next to get the jabs after aged-care workers and medical workers, who have been told to do so by the government. (RT)