Covid19 vaccine now mandatory at Point Lisas firm

Covid19 vaccine ready for an arm. AP PHOTO -
Covid19 vaccine ready for an arm. AP PHOTO -

Only vaccinated staff members of Scaffolding Manufacturers Trinidad Ltd (SMTL) in Point Lisas will be allowed to work at the company.

On Monday, a memo from SMTL’s managing director, Phillip Archie, said from October 1, all employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination against covid19 to come to work at the company and its work sites.

The memo also said, “Effective immediately, covid19 vaccination is a mandatory requirement for all new hires.”

It said the changes were based on the new requirements from the company's clients.

SMTL, at Pacific Avenue Point Lisas Industrial Estate, is a key service provider to various major operators in the oil and gas industry.

Unvaccinated staff members are entitled to no-pay leave until they get vaccinated.

A company official told Newsday there are 170-180 workers, of whom 75 per cent are already vaccinated.

As the memo was sent out on Monday, the official said the company had not yet had any feedback from the 25 per cent unvaccinated staff.

“Unvaccinated workers who are entitled to take vacation leave can do so if they so desire. The memo says no-pay leave,” said the official.

Not wanting to name SMTL’s clients, the official said, “Our clients already sent out memos asking that our workers be vaccinated. They also had (oral) conversations about it. They do not want any contractors on their facilities who are not fully vaccinated.”

A worker tested positive recently and called the company on Monday to find out what would happen to his job, since he must wait at least three months after he tests negative before being vaccinated.

“We will have to discuss it with HR. That is just a one-off case,” the official said.

SMTL’s website says the company was established in 1973 and its goal is to strive to be the premier provider of scaffolding goods and services, catering for clients and jobs of any size.

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