Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector labour union, says it is disingenuous for unions to push back against vaccine mandates by employers when the overwhelming weight of medical and legal arguments are stacked against them.

“Unions need to be more honest. Our lawyers have checked this thing out, and the bottom line is if an employer comes out with a mandatory vaccination policy, unless you have a bona fide medical reason … it will be deemed legitimate for the employer to demand mandatory vaccinations,” Unifor president Jerry Dias said.

“I’ve had PSWs (personal support workers), I’ve had homecare workers, I’ve had warehouse workers who’ve died. So, am I supposed to take a cavalier attitude toward the fact my members, essential workers, have lost their lives on the front lines? I’m going to honour their lives by doing the right thing,” Dias said, who added that he’s come under criticism from some Unifor members for the union’s stance.

“You never listen to the loudest three per cent. The bottom line is that they’re not speaking for the majority. And so, I don’t get caught up in listening to the last person that yelled at me. We take a position that we think is responsible,” said Dias.