A number of GM Canada workers that have not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19 are facing termination.
According to The Detroit Free Press, about one percent of GM Canada’s 7,000 hourly workers have not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, despite the company implementing a December 12th deadline to receive the shot. These employees were previously placed on unpaid leave after GM Canada implemented its vaccine mandate.
In a statement, GM Canada said it was working with the unvaccinated employees to implement a plan to get the vaccine or to be approved for an exemption.
“For those who are not compliant, GM Canada is working with them individually to develop a reasonable plan to become fully vaccinated, to secure an approved exemption, or to make other employment arrangements,” a spokesperson told the Free Press.
GM Canada’s vaccine mandate has caused controversy within the union, with many workers expressing frustration that GM does not have the same rules in place for its U.S. facilities. Members of Unifor, the union that represents GM Canada hourly workers, have also staged protests against the mandate, which called for the union to push back against the clampdown.
Dino Chiodo, director of automotive at Unifor, told the Free Press this week that the union supports vaccine mandates, but wants GM Canada to work with unvaccinated members to avoid potential termination.
“We believe in mandatory vaccination,” Chiodo said. “But there’s a way to get there too, and the company understands that. Nobody wants to see anyone terminated because of this, because some people have legitimate concerns,” he added, noting some of the unvaccinated workers are pregnant or have plans to retire in the near future.
Both Stellantis and Ford will implement their own vaccine mandates at Canadian facilities in the near future, as well. Stellantis plans to implement a vaccine mandate at its Canadian facilities by the New Year, while Ford’s will come into effect on January 3rd.