Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS) has sent a letter to the Saeima speaker and all factions in the parliament. In it, LBAS expresses its opinion on the rights of employers to lay off employees not vaccinated for Covid-19, as confirmed by LBAS.
Because the Cabinet of Ministers decided on July 14 to approve the legislative draft to Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection and send it to the parliament for approval, LBAS decided to object the plans to provide employers the right to lay off non-vaccinated employees, stressing that the objective of the legislative draft – ensuring it was possible to provide services and perform duties without putting at risk the lives of other people – could be accomplished through other means, such as distancing, using protective masks, through regular airing of rooms, frequent testing, remote work, etc.
LBAS supports only voluntary vaccination. The trade union urges politicians to explain their position and provide full information to help each employed person make up their mind about the vaccination.
LBAS urges Saeima members involved in discussions of this legislative draft to stick to principles of proportionality and non-discrimination: keep Covid-19 vaccination voluntary, expand Covid-19 testing, have the Ministry of Health adopt cheaper tests and prevent the discrimination of non-vaccinated workers.
LBAS also proposes developing a special state financed rehabilitation programme and state compensation of treatment, examination, care and other costs if vaccination causes health complications, inability to work, or even death.
The trade union also urges legislators to develop guidelines under which health complications or lethal outcome that comes after a set amount of time following Covid-19 vaccine injections are to be blamed on the vaccine, unless the state is unable to prove the opposite. Under these guidelines persons who undergo vaccination are to be provided one day of paid leave to recover from the vaccine injection.
As previously reported, Latvian officials had promised to keep Covid-19 vaccination a voluntary option. Now, however, it seems there is a risk of non-vaccinated residents losing their jobs in medical institutions, schools, etc.
According to the amendments passed by the Cabinet of Ministers at the July 14 meeting, after October 1 employers in Latvia will have the right to lay off employees who do not have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate. (BNN/Business World Magazine)