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Omicron Crippling Aussie Retail Supply Chains, Workforce

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has spoken out about the “key issue” of workforce and supply chain issues due to Omicron, as conditions reflect those during the lockdown.

Frydenberg said CEOs from Wesfarmers, Woolworths and more have raised both workforce and supply chain problem with him, as new daily cases in Australia flew to 72,392 yesterday.

Australian Retailers Association chief industry affairs officer Fleur Brown said staff shortage are the main issue in retail.

“Staff shortages across the board are the primary immediate concern – it’s an ongoing juggling act for retailers and their rostering whenever a staff member isolates,” Brown said.

“This is particularly hard for small businesses to navigate with less backup staffing options – just a case or two can wipe out a store’s workforce.”

Arthur Tzaneros, CEO of Australian Container Freight Services called this “the biggest impact on staff we’ve seen since the pandemic,” telling AFR there had been a 25-50 per cent driver shortage in the past two weeks.


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