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How Tech Companies Are Handling The Delta Strain

The world’s biggest tech companies seem to be requiring workers to be vaccinated before returning to offices.

Despite a number of companies calling workers back from September, most have backflipped on these stringent return-to-office demands, as the pandemic shows little sign of slowing.

GOOGLE

Google has expanded its work-from-home date until at least October 18.

“Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated,” CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post.

“We’re rolling this policy out in the United States in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months.

“I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen.

“Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead.”

FACEBOOK

“We will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook vice president of people Lori Goler said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”

Those who do go into the offices, will be required to also wear masks.

“Given the rising numbers of COVID cases, the newest data on COVID variants, and an increasing number of local requirements, we are reinstating our mask requirement in all of Facebook’s US offices, regardless of an employee’s vaccination status,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

APPLE

Apple Stores now require both customers and staff to be wearing masks inside, even if they are vaccinated.
This comes after an Apple Store in Newcastle today was identified as an exposure site. The store, in Charlestown Square, has been closed while employees are tested and isolate.
Tim Cook displeased employees at Apple when he insisted that workers return to offices by September.

An internal letter by staff bemoaned that, “without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple.”

This is despite Cook only requiring staff to be present Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – a lot more flexible than the company’s pre-COVID policies.

Apple will still require employees to return to the office at some point, but they will get at least a month’s warning. No official announcement has been made regarding vaccinations.

NETFLIX AND DISNEY

Netflix was the first major Hollywood studio to enforce a mandate on vaccinations for the cast and crew of all U.S. productions, a policy that has been expanded to all office workers.
The company’s offices are open to those who are vaccinated, with a post-Labor Day (September 6) reopening looking likely to be pushed back.
Disney has issued a blanket policy that requires all salaried and non-union employees to be vaccinated. It’s Burbank, CA offices are open, requiring employees can show proof of vaccines.

AMAZON

Amazon.com has announced it will delay office workers returning until next year, in the midst of the developing COVID-19 situation.

This missive includes Australian corporate workers, whose return to the office has been pushed to at least January 3. Early September was the initial deadline for returning to offices, but the Delta strain has put paid to that.

Last month, two workers at the Amazon Australia facility in Moorebank tested positive to COVID, forcing over 100 casual workers into isolation.

Craig Fuller, Director of Operations, Amazon Australia, said at the time: “The safety of our people remains our highest priority and we have taken prompt, proactive measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site. We are working with NSW Health and will continue to follow their guidance.”

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