Four staffers at the RioTinto IOC in Sept-Îles who were laid off after refusing to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 can resume work after Ottawa on Monday lifted the ban on unvaccinated people, with the travel by train or plane.
• Also read: Sept-Îles: An unvaccinated worker explains his decision
RioTinto IOC is subject to regulations that require vaccination in federal government businesses in the airline, railroad and shipping industries.
This action led to the dismissal of four unvaccinated employees at the end of January.
An agreement between the steelworkers’ union and the company already called for the return of its workers when vaccinations were lifted, which happened on Monday.
However, the lawsuit being waged by the union does not end there, as compulsory vaccination could be reinstated. The Steelworkers are awaiting a ruling from the Superior Court in this case.
Last week the union argued that compulsory vaccinations can cause irreparable harm to workers and violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“We also knew when we challenged the ministerial decree that the law would be repealed. We continued the challenge anyway, sometimes the law came back so workers could keep the option to choose to be vaccinated,” explained Steelworkers Union representative Marc Tremblay.
The United Steelworkers also challenged the dismissals of the four RioTinto IOC employees and other workers from 10 companies that were the subject of the Superior Court’s motion. Further steps have been taken to seek compensation for unvaccinated Quebec Iron Ore and ArcelorMittal workers who have been unable to fly to Fermont in the past five months.
“People will also be able to travel by plane again. There are also complaints that have been filed regarding property damage. They had to take their vehicle with them, it wasn’t ideal for the workers.
The steelworkers’ union believes that a victory in the Supreme Court, which would invalidate laws mandating vaccinations, would give them a balance of power before a court of arbitration.