Unifor Local 444 will file a complaint against the introduction of mandatory Stellantis vaccines at its Windsor assembly plant.
Stellantis set a December 17 deadline for employees to be fully vaccinated or risk disciplinary action that could include firing.
In a letter posted Tuesday on Local 444’s Facebook page, President Dave Cassidy informed its members that the company has chosen to go ahead with its vaccination plans.
“Our position is that Stellantis should follow other workplaces in the manufacturing environment that have vaccination policies that offer safe alternative options for those who choose not to get vaccinated,” Cassidy wrote.
“These kinds of policies also don’t result in members being fired or forced to leave without pay.”
There are about 4,500 employees at the Windsor assembly plant.
The policy will also be implemented at Stellantis operations in the Brampton area. In total, the company has about 10,000 employees in Canada.
Although Local 444 is regretting the policy, Cassidy admitted that employees face having to make a decision about vaccinations before the complaint is likely to be heard.
“The problem today is that the dates outlined in company policy are fast approaching and, thus far, the company has made it clear that they intend to move forward, ignoring the concerns we have raised with them,” said Cassidy, who He added that Unifor is urging all members to get vaccinated.
“In the short term, our members will be forced to make extremely difficult decisions. Our union will continue to pressure the company to change their policy or at least pause the implementation of this policy so that we can have a sober conversation with them. “
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Unifor National President Jerry Dias also urged members to get vaccinated. He added that union attorneys reviewed Stellantis’ policy and admitted that those who defy the company’s wishes run the risk of losing their jobs.
Dias said the 425 workers employed at Unifor’s national headquarters face the same policy and must be fully vaccinated to return to the office in November.