Olymel says 642 workers were vaccinated at clinics held onsite last week. (File photo Advocate staff)

Olymel says 642 workers were vaccinated at clinics held onsite last week. (File photo Advocate staff)

Employee raises alarm only 54% workers vaccinated at Red Deer’s Olymel

An Olymel worker is disappointed more employees did not access COVID-19 vaccination clinics held last week at the pork processing plant.

Olymel currently has about 1,700 workers, and 642 were vaccinated at clinics that ran May 4 to 6. Another 274 have been vaccinated in the community.

“Basically after Wednesday afternoon, there was hardly anyone in there,” said worker Tamas Raba about the clinic where he was vaccinated during his shift.

“This is a medical emergency. It’s your health. It’s your community,” said Raba, who scolded workers who have not been vaccinated.


Vaccines, with $50 bonus available for workers at Olymel

Earlier this year, Olymel had about 500 cases of COVID-19 and four fatalities linked to the outbreak, including three workers who died.

Raba, who has worked at Olymel for 29 years, said workers like to complain about Olymel, but the company has done a lot to reduce the spread of COVID. Cleaning staff regularly disinfect surfaces, dividers have been installed, employees wear masks and face shields, extra staff have been hired to make sure people follow COVID rules.

“People are going behind you, in front of you, with spray bottles. They’re wiping the door handles, disinfecting the microwave, disinfecting the table, the paper towel dispenser.”

He said he feels safe working at Olymel, but employees who work second and third jobs, and haven’t gotten vaccinated, should be thinking of the community.

“The virus doesn’t stop at Olymel. It’s everywhere,” Raba said.


Candlelight vigil held to remember those who have died due to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

Olymel spokesperson Richard Vigneault said the company was pleased that a total of 916 people at Olymel have been vaccinated.

“But we’ll still work on it. The more people are vaccinated, the better it is,” Vigneault said.

“We are strongly encouraging our employees, everyone of them, management as well as unionized, to get vaccinated.”

Olymel has promised workers a $50 bonus to get vaccinated — $25 for each shot. Assistance is also available to help workers book appointments in the community.

He said Olymel appreciated Alberta Health Services setting up onsite clinics. More clinics may be held but AHS has not confirmed any yet. Olymel will continue to maintain safety measures, and work with AHS, as the pandemic continues.

Alberta Health said there has been a total of 551 COVID-19 cases linked to Olymel and 10 cases are active.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, which represents Olymel workers, was not immediately available for comment on Friday.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Businessred deer city

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

A Comox Valley 55+ baseball team isa being organized for the 2021 season. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
18U AAA Carstar Braves start season strong

The Red Deer Carstar 18U AAA Carstar Braves started the Baseball Alberta… Continue reading

(Contributed image).
Online poetry reading to benefit Red Deer women experiencing period poverty

The Period Promise Poetry Powerhouse is a central Alberta collective of some… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron, right, celebrates after scoring on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Montreal hangs on for 3-2 win to even series with Golden Knights at a game each

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (Series tied 1-1) LAS VEGAS — Montreal… Continue reading

New York Yankees Gary Sanchez celebrates his two-run home run during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Cole, Sánchez, Chapman come through as Yanks edge Blue Jays

Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gerrit Cole pitched eight… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Hawks rally from 26 points down, stun 76ers in Game 5

Hawks 109 76ers 106 (Atlanta leads series 3-2) PHILADELPHIA — Trae Young… Continue reading

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

OTTAWA — Annamie Paul is firing back against the coterie of party… Continue reading

Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan leaves the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Bill to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clears Senate

OTTAWA — A landmark piece of Liberal legislation aimed at harmonizing Canada’s… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) flips a shot on New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Russian goalies highlight Lightning-Islanders series

NEW YORK — Semyon Varlamov is the wily veteran, coming off a… Continue reading

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his ATP Tour Singles, Men, Round of 16 tennis match against Switzerland's Roger Federer in Halle, Germany, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Friso Gentsch-dpa via AP
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Roger Federer in second round of Noventi Open

HALLE, Germany — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime earned one of the biggest victories… Continue reading

A course official keeps out of the sun on the seventh green during a practice round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A different US Open than imagined at Torrey Pines

The spectacular ocean vistas will fill TV screens as usual, along with… Continue reading

Most Read