On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, a handful of staff who said they are unvaccinated turned up at FLOW BVI headquarters where they were shut out of a general staff meeting.
The group were seen on JTV News and heard on the Morning Broth show on Tola Radio VI, venting their frustration about the issues citing a violation of their human rights.
Speaking on JTV News, one staff contended that while the company is holding fast on its new policy they have also indicated that failure to comply with the policy can see them out of a job without a severance pay.
“We have also been told that no severance will be paid. Some of us have more than twenty years in this organisation and is being told that no severance pays. We have all for the most part met with our HR representatives locally and regionally and basically they have just restate what’s in the mandate.”
The lone female in the group of protesters said: “This is discrimination that we are faced with and I don’t accept that. I wouldn’t accept it here where I am from and so I am standing up against it,” another stated.
Further explaining their reason for being out on the protest, it was said that a circular was sent to the general staff for a breakfast meeting but strictly stated, “Only vaccinated staff.”
He stated: “I have no intention to abandon my job. As it is right now there is no official word as to what’s next in terms of what is going to happen if I don’t show up for work.”
On the other hand, the government of the day was challenged to step in and represent its people. “One thing I must say, it appears that to me the government’s stance is let the companies mandate this and say that they are not mandating it, at the end of the day saying that their hands are clean but their hands are absolutely not clean because they are allowing it.”
“Their citizens are being put out of jobs, they are allowing companies to force persons out of jobs because they are refusing to take this vaccine. People have their families to take care of, they have their mortgages, you name it and it’s really unfair.”
According to a release from the organisation, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, C&W Communications, parent company of BTC, C&W Business, C&W Networks, and Flow, has implemented rigorous health and safety measures to help protect employees, their families, and customers and local communities.
“As we continue to manage and operate through the global COVID pandemic across our markets, the company has taken the decision to mandate vaccination for our employees in a phased approach over time. This decision was not taken lightly, but ultimately, we believe we have a responsibility to our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve.”
“In conjunction with the roll-out of its vaccination policy, C&W Communications will implement a hybrid working model where employees who have been working remotely will return to the office for a designated period each week based on their roles and responsibilities. In the BVI, the vaccine mandate and return to work framework takes effect on December 1, 2021, where only fully vaccinated employees will be allowed into office facilities.”
It states that the timing for the vaccination mandate and adoption of the hybrid working model is determined on a market-by-market basis considering factors such as country vaccination rates, employee vaccination rates, the availability of in-person schooling, and accessibility to public transportation, among other criteria.