There appears to be some kind of a stand-off between the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) in Grenada and the American-run offshore St. George’s University (SGU) on the issue of unvaccinated employees being kept on the job.
The university is enforcing from today its ultimatum for employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 for admittance to its campus at True Blue in St. George’s.
Union boss, Senator Andre Lewis who was seen on the campus a few hours ago denied that TAWU was planning protest action against the school as some employees could not enter the premises as they did not take the vaccine.
“I am not aware of any build-up of a protest. I know that as of today, the SGU has said that workers who are not vaccinated ought not to enter the compound, thereby preventing them from working.
“We have written to the school months ago – as late as last week also – expressing our concern that that is not proper and correct, and preventing workers who are not vaccinated from entering the compound is a violation of their contract of employment”.
THE NEW TODAY saw less than a dozen workers in the company of TAWU’s General Secretary Bert Patterson milling around outside the SGU main entrance in the early hours of the morning.
Patterson confirmed that a circular was sent out to the workers last week informing them that it was “not necessary” for them to show up for work Tuesday at SGU.
According to Lewis, it has not come as a surprise to both TAWU and the workers that SGU is enforcing its decision to keep unvaccinated employees off its premises.
“…We would have to take the matter further in terms of industrial relations and dispute resolution. We are taking note of the matter – the school has said not to come on the compound. We have advised the workers that given the fact that the school has told them not to come on the compound unless they are vaccinated then the school cannot terminate them for abandoning their jobs as was one of the concerns of the workers.
“We will be addressing the matter very soon. The school has said that they will not be paying workers as of today and obviously we do not agree with that and we will be addressing that”.
The Keith Mitchell-led government has been giving mixed signals on the issue of mandatory vaccination against Covid-19.
Prime Minister Mitchell has said that the government will not support mandatory vaccination but indicated that employers have a right to take action to protect their businesses against the deadly virus.
Grenada has recorded just over 160 cases including one death from Covid-19 since the virus first showed up on its shores in March 2020.