President of the Public Service Union, Elroy Boucher, and president of the Teachers’ Union Oswald Robinson have both disclosed the catalyst for their upcoming protest action. They say the industrial action is being taken against the recent amendments made to the Public Health Act.
Speaking during a virtual interview on the weekend, both men said they are against mandatory vaccination as it is a violation of a person’s fundamental rights.
PSU president Elroy Boucher, highlighted recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the government’s handling of the implementation of mandatory vaccination, if the step becomes necessary. He noted that there has been a recommendation for a compensation scheme by individual governments to be established for injuries from vaccines as they acknowledged that little is known yet on the long term efficacy of the vaccine as well as its possible side effects. Boucher said the government of SVG has not been actively listening to the voice of the majority who are against mandatory vaccination, nor employing the assistance of other social groups to drive vaccine uptake.
President of the Teachers Union Oswald Robinson argued that while the constitution does give way for the health minister to make decisions relating to vaccination, re- vaccination, isolation etcetera (etc), when the island is faced with “any formidable epidemic, pandemic or transmittable disease” there is also section 17 which deals with the declaration of a state of emergency under which such actions are justified. Robinson noted that no such declaration has been made in SVG.
Various groups and unions are expected to come together for planned industrial action on September 7th to the 10th 2021.