A businessman has recalled the devastating moment he was forced to stand down his own son who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine, describing it as the toughest day of his life.
Facelift for Homes managing director Peter Wishart says he had no other choice to sack general manager and son Daniel on Tuesday after the Victorian government mandated vaccinations for construction workers.
The industry has been shut down for two weeks with thousands of anti-vaxxers expected to descend on the streets of Melbourne for a third day of protests and clashes with police.
On the cusp of retirement, Mr Wishart still hopes he can reinstate his son whom he hopes will take over the family business as he blasted protestors.
Facelift for Homes managing director Peter Wishart (right) was forced to sack his son Daniel (left) on Tuesday
‘It was the toughest day of my life yesterday having to come to work and do what I had to do yesterday to not only sack only my son but two other tradespeople that have chosen to not get vaccinated for various reasons and medical reasons as well,’ Mr Wishart told the Today show.
‘My son’s obviously devastated, he’s the future of my business.’
‘I’ll do whatever I do to make sure he takes the business over. I’m nearly retired, and he’s my son and he will take over the business.’
‘I’ll do what I need to do to make sure that not only him but my staff get protected and I will look after them.’
His son has worked in the industry for over 15 years.
Mr Wishart says his decision has taken a heavy toll on him and called for the rules to be relaxed to give workers a choice.
Peter Wishart still hopes his son Daniel (pictured) will be able to take over the family business
‘Unfortunately, the government has given us no other option,’ he said.
‘Give people a choice. I’m a shadow of my former self at the moment.’
‘I’m really, really upset and to have that conversation yesterday to stand down, hopefully, in the future Dan Andrews and his government will take the mandate off.’
Mr Wishart called for calm with protestors expected to create more chaos on Melbourne streets for a third consecutive day after the construction industry was shut down late Monday night.
‘High-vis vests do not protect you against Covid. Masks and social distancing do,’ he said.
‘Guys, just behave yourselves. You’re giving us a bad name. I’m a small business. We don’t need this bad publicity. There is a lot of people out there haemorrhaging at the moment.’
He fears the terrifying scenes in Melbourne on Tuesday set small businesses in construction industry back.
‘They didn’t do our cause any help at all,’ Mr Wishart said.
‘I’m a small business. I was hoping that we weren’t going to get mandated. I was assuming it was the large businesses that were going to be mandated, not family businesses like my own.’
Peter Wishart (pictured) called on the Victorian government to give construction workers a choice after standing down his own son
A businessman has sobbed on live radio as he admitted he was going to sack his own son for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid. (Pictured, a man is vaccinated in Sydney)
On Tuesday, Mr Wishart broke down while telling 3AW’s Breakfast Show he was going into work to tell his son he was axed.
‘Today’s going to be the worst day of my life, business career-wise. I have to go into work today, and put my son off.’
Mandatory vaccine rules come in later this week in Victoria which will force all workers in the construction industry to be jabbed.
Construction workers will be required to show evidence that they’ve had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine from this Friday.
Tea rooms were also set to be shut and workers forced to eat lunch outdoors. Travel between Melbourne and the regions for work was also to be banned.
However the introduction of the new rules has since been overshadowed by a complete shutdown of all construction work in the state for two weeks.
Mr Wishart said his son was the backbone of his company but had chosen not to get vaccinated.
Mandatory vaccine rules come in later this week in Victoria which will force all workers in the construction industry to be jabbed. (Pictured, constructions workers in Melbourne)
‘I have never cried so much in my life,’ he told the show. ‘I’ve been in business for 50 years and I employ 10 other people, and it’s gonna be the hardest day of my life.
‘I’ve listened to my son about the reasons – he doesn’t believe that the vaccination has been proven enough.
‘I’ve tried to persuade him, but I’m not going to push him into doing something he doesn’t want to do.’
The man’s harrowing ordeal comes as Victoria’s construction industry goes into a two week shutdown in a desperate bid to curtail the relentless spread of Covid in the current outbreak.
The Victorian government say the shutdown is needed as a ‘reset’, with Covid cases circulating on construction sites.
The state recorded another record number of cases for Victoria in 2021 with 603 people testing positive and one death in the 24 hours to Tuesday.
Shutting down the construction sector will cost about $455million a day and see 300,000 Victorians out of work, but officials believe it is the only course of action with so many cases linked to building sites and the lack of vaccine compliance from workers.
The man’s harrowing ordeal comes as Victoria’s construction industry goes into a two week shutdown in a desperate bid to curtail the relentless spread of Covid in the current outbreak, sparking protests across the city (pictured)
It claimed the extreme measures were needed to stop workers moving around Melbourne and beyond, reducing transmission as the industry has time to bring in the new Covid safety requirements.
Industry leaders were also told the violent protests on Monday showed why they had ‘significant safety concerns’ for the sector amid fears about ‘hostile’ workers.
A few critical projects will be exempt from the shutdown, with very small numbers of workers allowed to go to sites to check they are safe and secure.
Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said: ‘We’ve been clear: if you don’t follow the rules, we won’t hesitate to take action – we have seen widespread noncompliance across the industry and that’s why we’re taking necessary steps to protect every single Victorian.’
‘We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation.’
The Victorian government say the shutdown is needed as a ‘reset’, with Covid cases circulating on construction sites