Not all unions are comfortable with new vaccine requirements on federal workers from the Biden administration on July 29.
Following new rules to counter the spread of the Delta variant, federal workers were asked to be vaccinated in accordance with new COVID-19 safety requirements. This includes wearing masks, social distancing, and weekly testing.
Most major public-sector unions tentatively followed the new policies. However, some industry groups either rejected the vaccine mandate or wanted to discuss the restrictions, according to the Seattle Times.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents more than 26,000 federal officers, called President Joe Biden’s mandate a “clear civil rights violation no matter how proponents may seek to justify it.”
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents nearly 700,000 civil servants, wants to negotiate with the Biden administration.
“We expect that the particulars of any changes to working conditions, including those related to COVID-19 vaccines and associated protocols, be properly negotiated with our bargaining units prior to implementation,” AFGE President Everett Kelley said according to the paper.
Similar remarks have been echoed from the Professional Managers Association, American Postal Workers Union, and American Federation of Teachers.
The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) is one of the few public-sector unions that openly approves of tougher measures to contain the deadly disease.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic, over 600,000 people are dead, and we do not want any more of our members dying,” IFPTE President Paul Shearon said according to the publication.
Many public-sector unions objected to the new vaccine rules despite having embraced Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. They praised the Democrat’s efforts to strengthen the federal civil service, after former President Donald Trump cut funding.
BL understands public sector union demands could stymie Biden’s federal immunization program. Their opposition suggests similar efforts at state and municipality levels of government could be hampered too.
Meanwhile, national unions are seemingly more accepting of the order. This includes the IFPTE and American Foreign Service Association.
“Make no mistake–vaccines are the best defense,” Shearon said. “We can do this, we just all have to do our part.”
Amid ongoing debate and resistance to COVID-19 restrictions, the 46th president stressed his attitude towards the pandemic will always ‘be conscious.’
“With incentives and mandates, we can make a huge difference and save a lot of lives,” Biden said when he introduced the measure.
Biden also expressed his wish for the business sector to follow in his footsteps, and promote the vaccine to the remaining 31 percent of Americans who did not receive at least one dose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revealed vaccinated people might still contract the virus. However, they could still be protected from severe symptoms.
While much information about how contagious the Delta variant could be was forthcoming, little attention has been paid to how the vaccines can affect recipients. It is a similar situation for more affordable remedies like Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc. These repurposed drugs have already achieved great success in countless patients.