President and CEO of the One Mart Supermarket Group, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), through a statement released on Thursday, July 15, 2021, said, he is respecting the decision of his staff to not take the AstraZeneca vaccine at this time.
“Several weeks ago, our supermarket group adopted a policy of not scheduling unvaccinated employees to work physically at any of our company’s properties. We did so in the interest of our customers, our employees, and our business; however, we have no plans to release those workers on account of non-vaccination at this time. Instead, our executive team is exploring options for those persons to be assigned other duties or to work remotely within the company,” he said.
The veteran legislator stated that his staff has always been devoted to the company and customers, and the company, in turn, is devoted to them.
“Thankfully, over 90% (125 persons) of One Mart’s staff is already fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated. Approximately 10% (15 persons) remain unvaccinated for various reasons. I strongly believe that COVID-19 vaccines are the only option to give our business, our people, and our community a fighting chance at defeating this deadly pandemic. However, we fully intend to treat all staff with respect and dignity.”
He added that while the company respects their position, they are still encouraging them to take the vaccines unless they have “extenuating medical or religious reasons.”
“In the meantime, we will pivot our operations slightly and deploy available technology to allow them to work remotely,” he said.
Two of the company’s employees tested positive for COVID-19 on June 28, 2021.
Two days later, the company advised all employees who did not take their first COVID-19 shots by July 3, 2021, and their second shots by July 31, 2021, that they would not be scheduled to work until further notice.
One Mart said; however, since that time, these staff members have received their full pay and a $100 weekly food voucher for two weeks.