A security guard working in Melbourne’s hotel quarantine program has told the ABC she and her colleagues were hired on WhatsApp, of all places.
One of the messages told candidates to turn up “tomorrow at 6 AM sharp” and provided little-to-no information about the actual working conditions.
“I was hired on a WhatsApp group and I just got told that you need to be here at this certain time and you‘re going to dress in a certain way and this is your pay rate and that’s it,”19-year-old Shayla Shakshi told 7.30.
“We didn’t get any training when I got there. We had to put a mask on and gloves on and that was it. It was really like, ‘OK, how do I wear a mask? How do I sanitise?’”
Shakshi said she quit after the first shift at the Stamford Plaza in May, after she was told to bring her own PPE for future shifts.
“Some levels didn’t have sanitiser, so it was really tricky,” she added
In messages seen by 7.30, one person warned there were “six corona positive guards in [the] Carlton hotel… so please be careful.” Nobody replied to the message.
According to the messages, they were paid $25 an hour as independent contractors.
Shakshi’s claims are the latest in an increasingly long series of whisteblowers who have called out the private security companies in charge of hotel quarantine.
Earlier in the month, one whistleblower known only as George told the Today Show he only had “five minutes” of hygiene training, while another insider told the Herald Sun “operators are cowboys”.
It’s also been revealed that the DHHS was urged by senior officials to use actual police officers rather than private security contractors less than 24 hours after the hotel quarantine program launched back in March.
This advice wasn’t followed, apparently.