Political Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah said Government’s “vaccinate to operate” position was clearly ill-advised and has sent the wrong message to employers.
He made the comment in light of businesses that have told workers if they are not vaccinated they cannot work.
Abdulah said employers were now “bullying” and/or victimising their workers to get vaccinated but it is illegal to force a worker to be vaccinated.
Abdulah pointed out that he is in support of vaccines, but added that the majority of those in the food sector who may be returning to work on July 19, may not have been eligible for vaccination or even had access to the vaccines.
He said “Vaccines up to now were only available to the over-60 age group and persons with co-morbidities. The average worker in the restaurant sector is probably aged 30 with no co-morbidities and so would not have been eligible for a vaccine.
“Therefore to penalise workers in the restaurant sector who have not been vaccinated when they had no access to a vaccine, if not stupid, borders on being wicked.”
Abdulah said employers seem to believe that vaccinated workers pose no risk to co-workers or customers, but a vaccinated person can still contract the virus and transmit it to others.
He said what employers should be doing is encouraging employees to be vaccinated out of concern for the employee and not their losing money.
Abdulah added, “Workers need to work. They need the income that they have lost. They have not yet received any salary relief grant. They do not have savings to survive on.