In a protest Wednesday, November 3 outside the Toronto offices of labour union Unifor, dozens of auto workers gathered to voice displeasure with recently announced vaccination requirements, Automotive News Canada reports . They disagree with what they see as Unifor’s tacit support for policies, introduced last month by Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, that say all of their Ontario auto factory workers must be double-vaccinated against COVID-19, or face being let go.
Approximately 100 workers took part in the protest to, in their words, demand the freedom to choose whether or not to be vaccinated.
Sebastian Giorgi, who helped organize the rally, said he is willing to lose his job over the policy. “Not only am I throwing away a considerable amount of money, I’m throwing away a future,” the assembly-line worker at Local 1285 said.
The three automakers jointly set the policy October 14 , with mandate enforcement starting December 12 for GM; December 17 for Stellantis; and January 3, 2022 for Ford.
Unifor national president Jerry Dias said the union will push for “reasonable and fair” policies, but the union remains in support of vaccine mandates.
Individual locals are reported to be preparing grievances over the policy. But Dias warned there is no predicting how labour arbitrators will view the issue. Unifor continues to review the Detroit Three automakers’ vaccination policies.