Mandatory COVID-19 tests for employees at Canadian Toyota plants
KITCHENER -- Employees working at Toyota plants in Canada will need to get a weekly COVID-19 test starting next month.
"We are further augmenting our existing safety precautions by adding confidential, non-invasive testing for all employees and suppliers working on site," a statement from the company said in part.
The new testing plan includes the Toyota plant in Cambridge.
Some workers are concerned about what will happen if they refuse testing.
"As far as I understand, it would be an unpaid leave," team leader Lee Sperduti said. "People are a little bit concerned about that because it's kind of twisting their arm and taking a test if they feel they don't want to take a test."
The company said it will work with anyone who is unable to get a test for medical or religious reasons on a case-by-case basis.
Muneeza Sheikh, a labour lawyer in Toronto, said the policy is legally sound as long as the company is reasonable.
"And linked in a responsible way to their business and doesn't trump an employee's human rights," Sheikh said.
Toyota isn't unionized. Workers hope to get more clarity from management in the near future.
"The best way to get past it is to be very open with team members, which they've done a fairly good job of," Sperduti said. "But, the fact is, there's still too many questions at this point and there's not a lot of concrete answers."
The company started offering voluntary testing in December.
Mandatory tests start on April 1.