Letter to General Motors members from our National President, Jerry Dias

November 22, 2021

Dear members,

As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do so with the understanding that we have a responsibility to protect all employees. We recommend that all members who are eligible to be vaccinated, get vaccinated. We recognize that the only way to put the pandemic behind us is through immunization. A high vaccination rate is integral to defeating the virus and sustaining the reopening of Canada’s economy.

Your Union has presented the Company with a number of proposed options pertaining to the implementation of the current mandatory vaccination policy. The Company has shown a willingness to discuss and are open to some of these proposed changes. We are continuing our discussions in an effort to find an approach to the policy that is fair, reasonable, and carefully considers the health and safety of all members.

We will continue to express the concerns that have been raised by members. We have been clear in our position that we will neither support nor endorse an employer’s decision to terminate any employee under the guidelines of a workplace mandate.

The Company is currently reviewing information we have submitted and will provide a written response in the coming days. As for members that choose not to report their current vaccination status as mandated by the policy, the Company has advised that they will deal with these employees on a case-by-case basis, and have notified the Union that these individuals may be subject to discipline for non-compliance.  The Union will respond to any individual disciplinary action through the normal Local Union grievance process.

As a union, the health and safety of all our members is our priority. We urge members to report their status. We will continue to fight for the health and safety of all workers, for the right to a safe and healthy workplace, for the right to refuse unsafe work, and for the right to speak out when employer policies breach the limits of what is reasonable. We continue to support a comprehensive and collaborative approach to fighting the COVID-19 virus.

Information and facts about immunizations: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization-vaccines.html

Note: Anyone that has concerns or is hesitant to be vaccinated is advised to speak with a medical physician.

In solidarity,
Jerry Dias
National President

Printable letter here:  Ltr from Jerry Dias re Companies implementation of COVID vaccine