Windsor

Windsor Assembly Plant workers face Dec. 1 deadline to declare vaccination status: union

By next week, workers at Stellantis' Windsor Assembly Plant face discipline if they don't disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Workers have until the end of the year to get both doses

Chrysler Pacifica minivans, made at the Windsor Assembly Plant, are seen in transport along Wyandotte Street East on Oct. 26, 2021. (Kerri Breen/CBC)

By next week, workers at Stellantis' Windsor Assembly Plant will face discipline if they don't disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status, according to the union representing employees.

"The active workers that have not declared their vaccination status as of yet, the company has told us that they are going to start disciplining as of Dec. 1, and that they need to put their status in, as to whether they're vaccinated or not, or whether they're not going to do it, whether they've put in for an exemption," Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, said in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday.

Stellantis would not comment on what that discipline would entail for workers not in compliance.

The union filed a grievance with Stellantis over the policy, which was announced in October.

Workers had until Dec. 17 to become fully vaccinated, but that deadline has been extended to Dec. 31.

A spokesperson for the automaker said the extension was to accommodate case-by-case reviews of exemption requests.

'More time to screw around'

"I don't know why they're extending it any longer, they had a deadline at first, stick with it. It just gives them more time to screw around," said Rick Treleaven, who works in paint repair at the plant.

Treleaven is fully vaccinated and said he'll take a booster if and when it is offered.

'I don’t get why this is a political issue,' says Paul Durocher about getting vaccinated. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Paul Durocher, who also works at the plant and has both shots, also thought people should be getting immunized.

"I think everybody should get vaccinated. I don't get why this is a political issue, I don't understand it," he said. 

When it came to the mandate extension however, Durocher was a little less sure.

"That's political again. I guess I'm alright with it, but I mean as long as everybody eventually gets all vaccinated that's in here."

'Get vaccinated so we can move on, so we can travel again, spend some money, go to a nice warm beach,' says Rick Treleaven. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Treleaven had some advice for people who are vaccine hesitant.

"Look at the numbers, the COVID numbers, the deaths — there's one or two every day now," he said.

"Get vaccinated so we can move on, so we can travel again, spend some money, go to a nice warm beach."

Dave Cassidy is the president of Unifor Local 444. The union is grieving the COVID-19 vaccination mandate at the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

The company said it made the decision in the best interest of employee health and safety.

"Since vaccines have become available, Stellantis has continued to strongly advocate for our employees to get vaccinated as the best way to protect against the transmission and reduce the severity of the illnesses associated with COVID-19," a Stellantis spokesperson said in a statement at that time.

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