Sudbury

Eacom Timber offers workers cash to encourage vaccinations

A lumber company in northern Ontario says it will pay its employees a bonus to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Eacom Timer hopes to see 85% vaccination rate among employees in effort to 'get back to normal'

Eacom Timber Corporation says it hopes to achieve an 85 per cent vaccination rate among the staff at its nine sawmills and two secondary manufacturing facilities across Quebec and Ontario. (Eraldo Peres/The Associated Press)

A lumber company in northern Ontario says it will pay employees a bonus to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Eacom Timber Corporation recently announced an incentive program for employees, offering them $200 dollars after a first vaccine dose, $150 after the second, or $350 for a single-shot vaccine like Johnson and Johnson.

Company spokesperson Biliana Necheva says the incentive is being offered to its 1,200 employees at its mills and plants, and to about 1,000 contractors. They are aiming to have 85 per cent of its workforce vaccinated.

"I don't think we considered that our workers would get vaccinated at a different rate than the general population. We weren't really concerned about that," Necheva said.

"But we did want to say thank you and to try and get back to normal as quickly as possible."

EACOM has made the program retroactive so that employees and contractors who received the vaccine early on can still receive the incentive. Those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons can still apply to receive the bonus and so can new employees, even if they received the vaccine prior to their start date.

At the end of the program, the company intends to hold a draw among its facilities that meet the 85 per cent vaccination level goal for three prizes of $10,000 each. The prize money will be used by the local Joint Health and Safety Committee for equipment upgrades.

This initiative runs until Dec. 31.

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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