This announcement reportedly came via an email circular to employees seen by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) and made by the Vice President of Operations, Mr Daniel Reid.
“I would like to announce that we are looking forward to everyone having completed their first COVID-19 vaccination by April 30th,” the email said.
The Vice President, Mr Reid, did not reply to inquiries from VINO to shed some light on the policy; however, employees were also reportedly threatened that repercussions will come should they not get vaccinated.
“The company will not be able to carry the liability for employees who choose not to be vaccinated after this date,” Reid went on to say.
“Going forward from May 1, we will have to adjust our schedule for those that have not been vaccinated. Please be guided accordingly,” the email said in closing.
VINO reached out to Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) for comments on whether the policy could be violating the VI Labour Code; however, no response was received up to publication time.
Section 135 of the VI Labour Code, 2010 states, among other things, that: (1) An employer at any workplace including a construction site shall ensure that, (a) a safe, sound, healthy and secure working environment is provided as far as is reasonably practicable; (b) the measures and procedures prescribed by the Code and the Regulations are carried out; (c) every supervisor and every employee performing work complies with the Code and the Regulations; (d) every reasonable precaution is taken in the circumstances for the protection of a worker; (e) reasonable precaution is taken in the circumstances to protect the general public who comes into contact with the work site…”
While the Government has been pushing for the vaccination for frontline workers like those in the hospitality services sector, health authorities were clear that vaccination was not mandatory.
There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.