Hamilton transit workers’ union vows to fight City’s COVID-19 vaccine policy


Published April 28, 2022 at 1:54 pm

The union representing Hamilton’s transit workers has vowed to fight back after City Council, in a deadlocked vote, decided to stick with its COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

At a council meeting on Wednesday (April 27), a staff report calling for the suspension of the City’s policy was voted down in a tie vote (four votes for and four against; four counsellors were absent for the vote).

With the mandate in place, it means employees who fail to disclose their status as fully vaccinated by May 31, 2022, will have their employment terminated as of June 1.

In a statement released Thursday (April 28), ATU Local 107 President Eric Tuck called the decision ‘irresponsible’ and ‘disrespectful and completely unfair’ to frontline City employees, particularly transit workers.

“It is irresponsible for this City Council to cast a vote to terminate hard working employees, who have served on the frontlines for the last 2 years during Covid19,” Tuck said.

“Meanwhile, City Council sat in the comfort of their homes, shielded from danger while our ATU 107 members kept Hamilton moving, and working during the worst of times.”

Tuck vows that the union will seek speedy arbitration on the matter and warned that it will cost taxpayers upwards of $500,000 for what he called ‘unnecessary litigation.’

“Those financial resources could have been better spent on upgrading air treatment equipment on our buses to better protect both workers and transit riders,” he said.

As it stands, approximately 94 per cent of City of Hamilton employees are fully vaccinated and have disclosed their status.

According to a recent staff report dated April 20, a little more than 500 City of Hamilton employees could face termination by the end of May.

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