While government workers are required to prove if they are vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s a very different story in the private sector. Almost none of northeastern Ontario’s largest industrial employers have vaccination policies.
The Algoma steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie says it does not require its 2,800 employees to be vaccinated. Vale, with some 4,000 workers in Sudbury, didn’t answer CBC’s questions, but United Steelworkers Local 6500 says there is no policy in place.
That’s also the case at Glencore in Sudbury, where about 1,000 miners and smelter workers are represented by the Mine Mill union. “This is a very polarizing issue for a lot of people,” says union president Eric Boulay.
“Some are for it and some are against it, and they want to see the union fight for their direction, and that’s two different directions.” Boulay said that on top of the in-fighting among the membership, his local’s “pro-choice” stance also strays from the national Unifor union, which wants to see COVID-19 vaccines made mandatory.