The pushback over the scheduled firing of 400-odd City of Hamilton employees who have refused COVID vaccinations is heating up.
Eric Tuck, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107, warned that with the existing shortage of drivers, the possible loss of up to 100 more could result in service disruptions.
“It is unbelievable that after working so hard together throughout this pandemic to maintain service standards, the City Council would make such a decision that could ultimately cause unnecessary disruptions to this service,” Tuck said in a statement.
He added, “Mayor Fred Eisenberger and five other Council members have failed to follow the expert legal and medical advice as well as that of Senior staff recommendations to suspend this flawed policy.”
When Council was considering the termination policy, they were warned by Laura Fontana, General Manager of Human Relations, that it might be difficult to defend the firings in legal actions, given that the province had dropped its mandate policy.
Appearing on CHML yesterday, Ward Seven councillor Esther Pauls said the cost of severance plus legal fees could work out to $75,000 per employee, which when multiplied by 400 employees could work out to a $30 million hit to the city.