As the Biden administration prepares to make vaccines mandatory for all federal workers, and the CDC Director hints at 'health passes' to be able to function in society, the nation's largest union boss says that the AFL-CIO supports mandatory vaccines for workers.
In comments to C-SPAN's "The Washington Journal," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said "Yes we do" when asked if the organization supported vaccine mandates. "If you are coming back into the workplace, you have to know what's around you."
Earlier this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require that all its medical facility employees receive the jab, while President Biden on Tuesday announced that a mandate for federal employees is "under consideration right now" (with news orgs today reporting it's all but certain).
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that all city employees would either need to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests starting Sept. 13, giving employees six weeks for unvaccinated employees to make up their minds.
But a union representing emergency workers with the New York City Fire Department, FDNY EMS Local 2507, opposed the mandate, saying “the city and the mayor cannot simply disregard the civil liberties of the workforce.”
Explaining why the AFL-CIO supports vaccine mandates, Trumka said on C-SPAN that “everybody” in the workplace would be jeopardized if a worker is not vaccinated. He also said it's hard to make proper accommodations if a business doesn’t know if an employee has been vaccinated. -The Hill
"After we get everybody vaccinated in the United States, we have to help people around the world get vaccinated so that more and more variants don't start springing up and jeopardizing us and our economy, so that we don't see another shutdown like we saw last year when COVID first hit," said Trumka, adding that "the best thing that can happen is a vaccination" to prevent COVID variants.
"The president has done a great job on COVID. What we need to do now is get more people vaccinated, and I think the mandate is an acceptable way to do it," he said.