Update (August 11): BC Ferries has responded to Rebel News' request for comment. Their reply can be found at the bottom of this story.
Michael Richards was one of approximately 150 BC Ferries employees who were laid off without pay for eight months due to their COVID-19 vaccination status. Contributing to Richards' decision to not receive two COVID-19 injections was that early on during the government-pushed “safe and effective” vaccine rollout, Richards's cousin, a Maple Ridge, B.C. man named Shawn Mulldoon, nearly died and lost six feet of his intestine from an adverse reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But such reason and logic were for conspiracy theorists, remember? And it certainly didn’t get Richards any reasonable accommodation with BC Ferries to continue work or receive pay when opting out of the novel shots.
On June 14, the federal government announced that effective June 20, it would be suspending its discriminatory vaccine mandates that forbid healthy, federally-regulated transportation workers like Richards from working and contributing to overwhelmed organizations such as BC Ferries.
However, that didn’t stop Richards from being terminated after finally being “welcomed back” by July 20. Instead, while Richards estimates that 100 unjabbed, government-deemed lower-medical-class employees returned to work, Richards fell into the group of approximately 55 employees who had questions from BC Ferries about what would become of them if such mandates returned.
Such inquiries from employees weren’t met with answers according to Richards. Instead, Richards claims, he was fired for daring to ask about what his future would look like with the organization.
“What did you guys learn from the first mandates, what could change on the second mandates?” Richards told me this was one of the questions that he had hoped to get the answer to prior to committing to return back to work. Instead, Richards was slapped with a letter from the BC Ferries director, saying that Richards had relinquished and abandoned his employment causing him to be “terminated immediately.”
Meanwhile, travel with BC Ferries has turned into a gong show, to say the least. From cancelling sailings to recently parting ways with their now-former CEO due to staffing shortages and “COVID-19 related challenges.”
Rebel News reached out to BC Ferries to get their side of the story and did not receive a response. Click on the video report to hear more from Richards about his termination.
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STATEMENT FROM BC FERRIES:
On June 20, 2022, Transport Canada suspended its vaccination requirements for employees in federally regulated transportation sectors. As such, BC Ferries suspended its requirement for employees to be vaccinated.
During the week of June 20, BC Ferries reached out to approximately 150 employees who were on leave without pay due to the federal vaccination policy to inform them about the vaccination suspension and to welcome them back to work.
On July 5, follow-up letters were sent to employees who did not respond to calls from BC Ferries about returning to work. In that letter, employees were asked to declare their employment intentions by July 12th. It was clearly communicated that failure to do so by that deadline would constitute job abandonment.
On July 21st letters were issued to those who did not meet the July 12th deadline that BC Ferries had no alternative but to conclude that the individual had relinquished their employment with the company as consistent with the collective agreement that states “an employee who fails to report to duty for 12 consecutive days without informing the employer of a justifiable reason for his/her absence shall be presumed to have abandoned his/her position”, and employment is terminated immediately.
If a former employee wishes to come back, the company will evaluate the request on a case-by-case basis. Approximately 120 employees have either returned to work or have let the company that know they intend to return to work.