COVID-19: Vaccine mandate to be implemented at London's GDLS, internal memo says

A COVID-19 vaccination mandate is being implemented at General Dynamics Land Systems — Canada (GDLS), the military defence contractor told employees in a memo on Tuesday.

The mandate is coming in response to a change in guidance on vaccines from the province and from the Middlesex-London Health Unit, the memo says.

“Businesses like ours are now required to establish a mandatory vaccination policy to promote vaccine uptake as the single most effective measure of protecting workers in the workplace,” the memo, obtained by 980 CFPL, states.

“Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect your health. Only vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective end of high quality are authorized for use in Canada. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested during the development and then carefully reviewed by Health Canada.”

More information on the policy is expected to be shared with workers in the coming days, the memo states. The memo points workers who are not fully immunized to a page on the MLHU website for pop-up clinics. It’s unclear what penalties, if any, workers may face if they don’t adhere to the policy.

980 CFPL reached out to GDLS but did not hear back by publishing time. A Unifor spokesperson declined to comment Thursday stating that the policy had yet to be put into place.

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Earlier this month, the health unit issued an open letter to local business owners strongly recommending that they implement COVID-19 vaccination policies which ensured that staff, volunteers, on-site contractors and patrons be immunized.

Days earlier, the province unveiled its vaccine certificate system, set to take effect next Wednesday. Under the system, patrons are required to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter higher-risk settings like restaurants and gyms.

London-based General Dynamics Land Systems — Canada is a subsidiary of Reston, Va.-based General Dynamics, and is an operating unit of General Dynamics Land Systems, the company’s website states.

The firm employs roughly 1,700 people in Canada, according to GDLS’ website.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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