See full statement from the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG)
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has learnt that some private sector enterprises have been denying employees work opportunities unless they receive the COVID-19 vaccines. The FITUG recognizes and appreciates the efforts of employers to encourage and plead with their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Indeed, the Federation’s affiliates have also similarly been encouraging union members and Guyanese alike to receive their vaccines. We hold, like our colleagues in the private sector, vaccines play a critical role in assisting us to exit the pandemic.
Though supportive of efforts for all Guyanese to be vaccinated, the FITUG draws the line where workers are apparently denied work for making a personal choice. We contend that such thoughts and efforts run counter to the vaccination thrust. We hold that education not compulsion should be advanced. Many Guyanese are responsible and respond to logical, cogent arguments. And we urge such measures be pursued.
The FITUG reminds that the Guyana Government, and in fact no country globally, has made it mandatory for citizens to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Therefore, we find it disconcerting that it is touted that some employers have decided to take it upon themselves to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for their employees. We urge that if such practices exist that they be abandoned and if such thoughts are harboured persons minds be disabused. The Federation remains open to collaborating with bona fide and legitimate actors in our society to advance the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in our country in a manner that respects the rights and choices of all Guyanese.