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Unifor welcomes paid vaccination leave for B.C. workers

Health worker in a mask and face shield administers a needle to a seated person's shoulder
April 19, 2021 - 12:00 AM

VANCOUVERUnifor’s campaign for paid time off for workers to get vaccinated has succeeded with an announcement today by the Horgan government that employers shall grant three hours of work time for vaccination appointments.

“Paid vaccination leave will help British Columbia protect workers and accelerate the economic recovery,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The next logical step is paid sick leave. Letting sick workers stay home to recover is vital to containing threats to public health.”

Today’s announcement builds on the provincial government’s recent policy to prevent employers from terminating workers who were forced to take unpaid work time to be vaccinated.

“It seems unlikely that COVID-19 will be the last pandemic in our lifetimes. A plan to build back better must be proactive in letting people stay home when they’re sick,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Workplace infections helped fuel COVID-19’s first, second, and third waves. The government must learn its lesson and legislate paid sick leave.”

Earlier this year more than 60 Unifor members met with the B.C. government caucus, including Premier Horgan, to lobby for paid vaccination leave, paid sick leave, and other worker-friendly policies to reduce precarious work and build back better after COVID-19.

Unifor’s comprehensive plan for building a fairer and more resilient economy can be found here.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).