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Timmins sawmill offering cash incentives to get employees vaccinated

The company hopes to achieve an 85 per cent vaccination rate among its staff
2019-05-31 EACOM8 MH
Timmins sawmill manager Marc Fleury and Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski tour EACOM's Timmins operation during the sawmill's 100th anniversary event. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

A Northern Ontario lumber company says it will hand out cash to employees and contractors who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a news release today, EACOM Timber Corporation announced the rollout of a "thank you" incentive campaign it hopes will achieve an 85 per cent vaccination rate among the staff at its nine sawmills and two secondary manufacturing facilities across Ontario and Quebec.

It includes plants in Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Elk Lake and Nairn Centre near Sudbury.

EACOM has made the program retroactive so that employees and contractors who received the vaccine early on can still receive the incentive. Those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons can still apply to receive the bonus and so can new employees, even if they received the vaccine prior to their start date.

The confidential program includes an incentive of $200 for the first dose, $150 for the second, or $350 for a single-shot vaccine.

“We are committed to offering safe working environments for all members of our staff and business partners, as well as contributing to vaccination efforts in our communities,” said EACOM president Kevin Edgson in the news release.

“We felt it was our duty to achieve a high target vaccination level at our facilities and that offering a cash incentive, in a confidential and equitable manner, would be a good option. We are pleased with the results thus far and appreciate everything our employees are doing to help us get back to normal as safely, and quickly, as possible.”

Since the start of the pandemic, EACOM has continued to operate while, at the same time, contributing to numerous efforts in their communities.

“I’m honoured to work for a company and with colleagues who have, collectively, donated half of their KN-95 masks to local health units facing shortages, offered money and food to help those who lost their livelihoods, gestures which were matched at the corporate level," said Éric Larouche, vice-president of human resources. " We are fortunate to have operations in tight-knit communities, where people come together in times of crisis, and we try to do our part. The feedback and show of solidarity from our staff and partners in Elk Lake, Ontario has simply been overwhelming.”

At the end of the program, the company intends to hold a draw among its facilities that meet the 85 per cent vaccination level goal for three prizes of $10,000 each. The prize money will be used by the local Joint Health and Safety Committee for equipment upgrades.

EACOM’s vaccination ‘thank you’ program runs until Dec. 31, 2021.