Unvaccinated Hyatt workers fear termination

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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About 30 Hyatt Hotel workers who have not been vaccinated against covid19 fear they could be without a job as of November 1 as the hotel seeks to have “defined safe haven zones” as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

Businesses wishing to operate as safe zones must ensure its staff and patrons or customers are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated people can only enter a safe zone if they have a medical deferral certificate or a medical exemption certificate, issued through the public health system, and present a negative covid19 PCR test every two weeks.

Some workers who have not yet decided to be vaccinated say many of them have been working at the hotel for more than 14 years.

In a circular issued by management, workers were told that effective October 11 they would not be paid for absences arising out of the need to quarantine.

The circular said workers have the option of applying for personal time off. Those who test positive for covid19 can use available sick leave. Upon the expiry of that sick leave, a sickness benefit claim can be made to the National Insurance Board.

“Where quarantine is required through exposure at the workplace, through no fault of the employee, then this leave will be paid… This circumstance will be investigated and approved, as needed, by management.”

The workers were told anyone found willfully not complying with the regulations may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

On Monday afternoon, a small group of workers tried to speak with managers about some of the regulations.

“PCR testing every two weeks is expensive. We could not cover that expense,” one worker told Newsday. He said he still does not feel comfortable taking any of the vaccines and he believes it is his right to not do so.

Newsday tried to speak with a manager but was told they were not authorised to make any comments to the media.