Brothers & Sisters,
After careful consideration and a review of all options available under the Reopening Ontario Act; for health and safety reasons Local 707 Executive Board has canceled the following events:
- Local 707 Retiree Chapter Meeting, scheduled for November 17th, 2021
- General Membership Meeting, scheduled for November 21st, 2021
This decision was supported unanimously by the Local 707 Retire Chapter Executive board.
At present the Reopening Ontario Act does not require proof of vaccination or written exemption for an election, therefore the Bi-election for Alternate Ergonomic Representative and Alternate Steward Chassis 7 (B Shift) with advance polls on Friday November 19th and voting on Sunday November 21st 2021 will continue as scheduled. Masks, social distancing and abiding by the capacity limits will be observed, similar to the September bi-elections and Standing Committee Elections.
The cancelation of the General membership and Retiree Chapter Meeting was only considered after all other options were exhausted.
The objective of our Executive board continues to be a safe, healthy, orderly Membership meeting that includes all 707 members who want to attend. Unfortunately, despite our accommodation efforts in October, health & safety protocols and order could not be maintained.
The Local has been told twice (in writing by the Ontario Ministry of Health) that proof of vaccination or written exemption is required for anyone attending our General Membership and Retiree Chapter meetings.
I have reached out to Local 707 member and MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore,Rudy Cuzzetto, who has attended our General Membership Meetings in the past. We discussed the importance of these meetings for our membership and our community as this is where we conduct our Union business. He understood my concerns and took my request for an exemption (for proof of vaccination) under the Reopening Ontario Act to the Ministry of Labour. Unfortunately, after speaking to the Minister of Labour’s office, Rudy informed me that the Local Union would NOT be given an exemption for our General Membership Meeting and we would be legally required to follow the Reopening Ontario Act.
Given the health & safety responsibilities in these difficult circumstances and current restrictions, the Local Executive Board and I will continue to explore different opportunities to communicate effectively and inform the members of important information as it becomes available.
President, Unifor Local 707
& Local 707 Executive Board