Canada’s biggest ice cream maker Chapman’s Ice Cream is facing a boycott after the company announced it would raise wages for its vaccinated workers and introduce mandatory testing protocols.
The company has become the latest target of several anti-vaccine organizations and activists who are allegedly threatening members of the family-owned business and calling on the public to boycott its ice cream products.
“The response was very brutal, very, very aggressive in fact. People were calling us, leaving messages after hours. I’ve been sent—the only thing I can say—is the hate package in the mail,” Chapman Ashley Chapman, Vice President of told CBC radio as it happens,
He said, “Even my father, my 78-year-old father, got a voicemail on his phone saying he was like Hitler, and apparently a Nazi, and that we essentially be convicted of war crimes.”
The company recently announced its new vaccine policy, which requires employees who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to undergo two rapid tests a week. The company will pay for the test.
Chapman told the CBC that about 750 of the company’s 850 employees have been fully vaccinated, while some have received a single dose or plan to get their shot soon.
Only five employees, who are currently on unpaid leave, have refused to disclose their vaccination status or undergo weekly testing.
Chapman’s Ice Cream also announced it would offer a vaccine incentive, which would pay workers who get vaccinated $1 more per hour through the end of the month.
Chapman attributed the decision to the amount the company plans to spend on testing its non-vaccinated employees. He said the calculated cost per illiterate employee was about $40 per person.
“As a family, we were chatting and it felt wrong that we were spending the small amount of money for people who didn’t get vaccinated, when we think rewarding people who do the right thing. Must go. Because it was also a bit of a slap in the face for them,” he added. global news,
“It felt like we were being treated better than the people who were vaccinated,” he said.
A photo of the announcement, posted at the company’s offices, is now circulating on social media among anti-vaccine groups.
The company’s Google page has also been flooded with a series of negative online reviews, with one reading, “Your ice cream tastes like a violation of labor law and discrimination.”
Chapman told Global News that the response was unexpected and admitted he found it disappointing that some people found the practice inappropriate.
While some have boycotted the company, supporters have also launched a campaign called #IStandwithChapmans.
One Twitter user wrote, “Chapman has always been a staple in our household, and given his COVID policies, and stance – I am proud to say this will continue. I support his initiative. It’s about being fair.”
Despite the criticism, Chapman said he is not concerned about the new policy affecting the company’s sales.
“There just aren’t enough Canadians out there who are anti-vax enough to send us hate mail and affect our sales,” he told CBC. “They may think that their exclusion may actually do something for us, but we will never notice.”
Last year, the company offered to help store Pfizer vaccine doses, as an additional Sub-Zero freezer was needed to keep the vials effective.
As of November 13, more than 85 percent of Canadians age 12 and older had been fully vaccinated and nearly 89 percent had received at least one dose.