PR – The Grenada Trades Union Council (GTUC) is very much aware that the COVID–19 Pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for both organized and unorganized workers in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. The workers and people of Grenada are experiencing high levels of unemployment, reduced income, and increased poverty. These must contribute to increase social problems.
The GTUC is also concern with the ongoing approach by some employers which threaten the livelihood of existing workers who have not taken the Covid–19 vaccine. The GTUC expresses its deep concern with the open and bias, stance taken by the Prime Minister and Government of Grenada against workers by publicly declaring employers have the right to deny access to un vaccinated existing workers which in turn results in loss of salaries or incomes.
The GTUC is aware that many un–vaccinated workers are genuinely concerned about the current vaccination. Workers are asking for alternatives to the existing AstraZeneca vaccine. Workers are asking for access to medical advice to help decide.
The GTUC is very concerned that most of our frontline workers who only “yesterday” were our heroes when they bravely faced the early onslaught of this then unknown deadly Covid–19 virus with only masks, sanitizing and physical distancing have today been made out as unpatriotic because they have expressed concerns about the vaccine. The GTUC calls on the Government and employers to remember that while most of us were safely locked away inside, these workers heroically and patriotically exposed themselves and their families to “danger” to keep the country/society functioning.
The GTUC informs that at the next sitting of the Senate, Senator André Lewis, President of the GTUC will be tabling a resolution that addresses the COVID–19 Vaccination Issues. The Resolution acknowledges that COVID–19 is the greatest threat to human existence since the Spanish Flu one hundred years ago. It offers suggestion for corporate Social responsibility including employers being responsible for any negative health issues that affect anyone who adhere to a company/employer request to vaccinate or lose their job.
The GTUC upholds the rights of workers to choose and calls on the Government and employers to involve the Labour Movement and the wider society to help implement Educational Programs including using independent Health Professionals/Doctor to lead in that effort whereby intelligent decisions can be made by workers.
The aspect of vaccination must be viewed through the lens of social considerations.
The Grenada Trades Union Council holds the view that there is an urgent need for genuine consultation, dialogue, and tolerance rather than arrogance and bullying as we strive to get the best for Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.