Food & Wine

Woolworths employee “aggressively removes" Asian shopper over coronavirus fears

Woolworths employee “aggressively removes" Asian shopper over coronavirus fears

A Woolworths shopper has claimed a staff member “aggressively” demanded that customers of Asian appearance to leave the store over fears they were infected with coronavirus.

A woman took to Twitter to reveal that her friend had witnessed the disturbing event take place at a Woolworths store in Port Hedland, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, on Friday.

The supermarket was informed of the incident, and it was claimed that the staff member celebrated after she removed the shopper from the store.

“What happens if a member of your staff aggressively removes a shopper of Asian descent from your store and prevents other Asians then regales the tale as if they are a hero preventing coronavirus to other customers?” tweeted the woman.

Afterwards, she updated the post to explain that she had also faced discrimination due to her Asian appearance.

“I get sideways glances and looks of nervousness if I’m out in public without my husband these days. I have never been to China. I worry what if my allergies play up and what will happen or if something triggers my asthma. I shouldn’t have to,” she said.

Others labelled the Woolworths employees alleged behaviour as “unacceptable”, “awful” and “really disgusting”.

“That’s awful. I’m so sorry this is happening. People can be terrible,” wrote one person.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a spokesperson from Woolworths said it wanted “everyone to feel welcome in our stores and sincerely regret this wasn’t the case on this occasion”.

“We have spoken to the customer who brought this matter to our attention and apologised for this unacceptable behaviour,” said the spokesperson.

“We’re conducting a full investigation into the incident and will take appropriate action to address it in line with our workplace policies.”