President and CEO of the One Mart Supermarket group, Mark Vanterpool, says unvaccinated staff will keep their jobs respecting their decisions not to accept the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
Vanterpool commented: “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-vaccinations 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 further added: “Our staff members have always been devoted to our company and customers, and we too are 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. We respect their positions, but we still strongly encourage them to be vaccinated 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.”
On June 28th, 2021, after having two staff members test positive for COVID-19, One Mart Supermarket instructed the affected workers to remain quarantined at home until advised otherwise by the British Virgin Islands Public Health Unit. Then, on June 30th, 2021, One Mart supermarket further advised all employees that persons who did not take their first COVID-19 shots by July 3rd, and their second shots by July 31st, would not be scheduled to work until further notice. Since that time, all such employees have continued to receive full pay and a weekly $100 food voucher for a two-week period with home-delivery grocery service.
One Mart values all its team members and respects the personal decisions of unvaccinated staff. The supermarket continues to operate with enhanced safety measures in place and vaccinated workers only at this time.
We strongly encourage all in the BVI to vaccinate for all of our safety! Our prayers are with all in the BVI especially those who have lost loved ones and those who are suffering in the hospital or at home.