Bunnings speaks out after mask incident
The managing director of Bunnings has spoken out after videos taken in store by a woman dubbed "Bunnings Karen" went viral.
Mike Schneider wrote in a public Facebook post that the company has "put the welfare and care of our team and customers at the core of what we do" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"As the community has seen from a couple of disappointing incidents over the weekend, our team are doing everything they can to help keep everyone safe in sometimes challenging circumstances."
"To be absolutely clear, we require that all customers wear a face mask or face covering if they visit a Bunnings store or Trade Centre in metropolitan Melbourne, or the Mitchell Shire. Exceptions will only be made for children aged under 12 and customers with valid medical reasons."
The post came after a woman dubbed "Bunnings Karen" went viral after she posted video showing herself confronting police and retail workers over wearing masks if they approached her in their shops.
The case sparked a social media storm, however Mr Schneider continued: "Regardless of what some people have said online, we make no apologies for following the advice of the Chief Health Officer in order to keep everyone in our stores safe."
"And to those who are claiming we have backed down from enforcing these rules and apologised, let me be clear: we haven't and won't. And any representations that we have are false."
"We won't tolerate abuse against our team members and any customers who do not respect the hard work of our team will be denied entry - and if needed will be referred to Victoria Police."
"We'd like to thank the vast majority of customers visiting our Melbourne stores who are doing the right thing and wearing a mask and for the significant support the community has shown our team members during this time."
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On Monday the woman behind the videos was outed as Kerry Nash, a self-described "strong sales professional" with a "demonstrated history of working in the consumer services industry" according to her LinkedIn profile.
But her former employer iSelect later said it was "appalled" by her behaviour.
"Kerry Nash has not worked for iSelect since Dec '18," the company wrote in a tweet on Monday.
"We are appalled by #BunningsKaren's refusal to wear a mask without a legitimate reason. We fully comply with COVID restrictions any staff unable to WFH must wear a mask in our office, in accordance with guidelines."
Meanwhile neighbours of the Ms Nash described her as "nothing but drama", according to The Herald Sun.
"She's an out of control neighbour" one resident told the publication.
Another complained she had previously ignored police requests to turn down live music and is "always banging on about how she's gonna sue police."
A sign next to her front door warned trespassers would face a $10,000 penalty.
Ms Nash was visited by A Current Affair on Monday evening but called the police and put a warning note up on her property warning trespassers would be prosecuted.
It came as a second woman also shared a video of herself ranting about the use of face masks and burning some on a small fire.
"I do not consent. We, the Australian people, do not consent to forced mask-wearing," she said, according to Seven news.
"To the Australian government, you can take your control and your fear-based evilness away."
"We the people do not consent to these draconian laws."
Originally published as Bunnings speaks out after mask incident