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“We are healthy and ready to work” protesting employees tell Purolator in Quebec

Healthy Purolator employees, sent home last January because they declined to disclose their COVID shot status, protest in Quebec on November 16th, saying they are healthy and ready to work. Photo: Vince Favreau

Purolator employees who were sent home without pay last January protested outside the corporation’s office in Boucherville, Quebec on November 16th.

“It’s time Purolator got up-to-date with the science,” says Vincent Favreau, a Purolator driver who declined to share his personal medical information with his employer and was then sent home.

“Today, we have support from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, which is just great to see,” Favreau notes. “That was maybe the best part of today, that we are unified in our message and that even vaccinated employees support our right to privacy and bodily autonomy.”

“We are fed up – it has been long enough,” he adds. “We are ready to go back to work right now, we are healthy, and we have learned the COVID shot does not stop transmission so there is no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people at work.”

About 80 people brought signs to protest in the snow on the lawn of Purolator’s Boucherville office, about 40 minutes outside of Montreal. Purolator declined to send anyone out to discuss employee’s concerns, but staff watched the protest from inside of a window.

On November 7th, Purolator’s Darrell Hayashi sent a letter to the hundreds of Purolator employees who were sent home last January 10th. The letter, which opened by stating that COVID shots were a requirement of employment, ended by saying suspended employees were now required to update their employee files with an “attestation letter” providing information on their COVID shot status.

“The letter and the policies are confusing by design,” Favreau told RWN.  “On one hand they are saying there is no demand for employees to receive the COVID shot, only that they update their employment record with a new attestation. However, we are uncertain as to what will happen if we disclose our personal medical information, stating that we have not received the shot.”

Yesterday, November 16th, was the deadline for employees sent home without pay to update their “attestations” on the Purolator website.

“Only those who do not update their status by the Nov. 16 deadline would face termination of their employment,” Purolator’s Courtney Reistetter told RWN in an email.

At the close of the business day on November 16th, Favreau did not have the number of how many employees had filed attestations and how many had declined.