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Canadian employers throw away unvaccinated workers



(Reuters) – Canadian employers fire or put on unpaid leave thousands of workers who refused to get covid-19 shots, pushing an already tight labor market and increasing the prospect of potentially disruptive legal challenges.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised vaccine mandate as a central part of his successful September re-election campaign, setting a precedent that has spread from the public to the private sector.

spaces, which include airports, and to air and train passengers.

Across Canada, hospitals, banks, insurance companies, school boards, police and some provincial administrations are now implementing similar policies for current and future employment.

Unvaccinated workers whose livelihoods are at stake ̵

1; in a country where more than 83% of the eligible population over the age of 12 have had their syringes – are flooding labor lawyers with calls.

Only Air Canada and WestJet, where over 90 % of staff are vaccinated, shut down hundreds who are not and demand that new employees be inoculated. Toronto's transit agencies also put hundreds on unpaid leave and reduce certain services.

Ottawa Hospital, the capital's largest and where more than 99% of staff are fully vaccinated, put on unpaid leave 186 people who could not prove they were. However, services will not decrease, said spokeswoman Michaela Schreiter.

Although the unvaccinated have some hopes of receiving severance pay or employment insurance, the legal advice that many receive is that there is no reason for a trial to simply not want the shot.

"Most people are really unhappy because they want to … force the employer to change policies," says Paul Champ of Champ & Associates in Ottawa, whose companies have received 20 to 30 calls a day from unvaccinated workers. "I have been very clear to people that it will not be successful." said Champ.

Jobs are under pressure

But to avoid losing thousands of nurses and other medical staff and being forced to cut services, the Quebec provincial government on Wednesday dropped its previously announced vaccination requirement for health care workers, and Ontario said it would not introduce any.

"Implementing a trial-wide vaccine mandate for hospital workers could have a negative impact on the care patients receive," said Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford in a statement, emphasizing how mandates could exacerbate a shortage

About 64% of companies say they are facing more intense labor shortages than a year ago, which prevents more companies from meeting the growing demand, said Bank of Canada aid last month.

The labor market will face further pressure from November 15, when as many as 20,000 unvaccinated federal workers – out of about 300,000 – came

"Departments and authorities will assess operational needs … and are focused on ensuring that there is no appreciable impact on the service," said Genevieve Sicard, spokeswoman for the Canadian Board of Finance, who oversees the public administration. a legal challenge yet, even if it only seems to be a matter of time.

"There are many people who are willing to take this to the end because they can see that the loss of a person's rights is a loss of everyone's rights," he said. Stacey Payne, founder of the Feds for Freedom, a group of federal employees who say the mandates violate their integrity and freedom.

Unions could have some success in challenging vaccine mandates for people who work from home and do not interact with others, said Daniel L ublin, founding partner of Whitten & Lublin in Toronto.

The mandate is "a one-size-fits-all approach," he said. "… And the problem I have with that is that Canadian labor laws always look at the context."

Workers also have a legal argument for severance pay or for employment insurance, lawyers said. Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough has argued that those who lose their jobs because they refuse to be vaccinated should not collect employment insurance.

"Many people played this out to see if companies would actually lay them off," Mr Lublin said "If they get fired, I think they'll fight it."


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