Anthony Albanese warned Peter Dutton to consider the impact his boycott call could have on supermarket workers.
Mr Albanese’s warning came only hours after a Woolworths store in Brisbane was tagged with profanities and pro-Australia Day graffiti early on Monday morning.
A flare was let off, prompting the temporary evacuation of nearby apartments, and police are investigating, the ABC reported.
On Thursday Mr Dutton took to the airwaves to condemn the grocery giant after Woolworths announced it would not stock Australia Day-themed paraphernalia due to declining sales over recent years.
Though the opposition leader has previously denounced “cancel culture”, he called on Australians to boycott Woolworths, decrying its decision as an “outrage” and “against the national interest”.
Other retailers including Aldi and Kmart have also revealed they will not stock Australia Day merchandise.
Mr Albanese added to the conversation on Monday, warning Mr Dutton to think about workers.
“His big statement was to call for a boycott of Woolworths as well as I assume Audi and Kmart – they employ over 200,000 Australians,” he told ABC radio.
“He needs to explain whether that boycott is forever, or whether it’s just until Australia Day and what the impact on those people who work for these companies will be.”
January 26 has become the subject of increasing scrutiny as more Australians oppose that date for Australia Day and respect the feelings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who lost out after the British flag was raised at Sydney Cove in 1788.
In recent years, Invasion or Survival Day rallies have been strongly attended across all capital cities, though many Australians continue to enjoy festivities away from the protests.
Rival supermarket Coles will continue to sell Australia Day items.