April 12, 2021
SENT VIA EMAIL
Re: Prioritizing front-line airport workers in the vaccine roll-out
Unifor represents hundreds of thousands of members across the country, including countless heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic, some of whom have tragically succumbed to COVID-19. We understand firsthand how important it is to accelerate current vaccination efforts to protect Canadian workers and place our economy back on solid footing. Airport workers, who interact with the travelling public on a daily basis, must be prioritized in the vaccine roll out plan.
Federally, airport workers are designated essential. Unfortunately, because the vaccine roll out is provincial jurisdiction, it seems airport workers have been left out. This is unacceptable.
Workers in this sector interact with people from all over the world every single day. Airport workers do not cohort with consistent groups, they do not service just one community, nor do they live in one area code. They are connected to the world through the clients they serve who arrive from countless destinations with varied safety measures and unknown case counts.
These workers assist travellers moving from the airplane to quarantine when they are coming from international destinations.
Our members consistently face multiple exposures to the virus and at least five Unifor members in the aviation sector a week test positive for COVID-19.
It is imperative that airport workers are moved up the priority list in the vaccination plan to keep these essential workers safe and healthy as they continue to keep traffic flowing and travellers guided to appropriate areas to quarantine. They are a first line of defence in ensuring Canada’s quarantine effort is effective.
We urge you to interject on behalf of these workers to ensure they are treated as essential in the vaccine priority plan, just as they are by the federal government.