The United States Postal Service employees will not be a part of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order that will mandate all federal workers receive the Chinese Coronavirus vaccine.
A reporter for the Washington Post confirmed that the over 644,000 employees of the USPS are not included in Biden’s new Executive Order, which he signed on Thursday. However, the White House said they strongly encourage them to comply with these standards.”
The reporter pointed out that the over 644,000 employees are an enormous chunk of the federal workforce that will not require the vaccine, and it is only growing.
This is stunning. One of the things we've learned during the pandemic is the Postal Service is a key part of national infrastructure & homeland security. We've seen what's happened to service when there have been pandemic-related staffing shortages. But USPS workers are exempt.
— Jacob Bogage (@jacobbogage) September 9, 2021
The reporter noted that during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the Postal Service a key part of national infrastructure & homeland security, adding that Americans saw what the slightest staffing shortages could do to the system during the pandemic.
“OSHA will fine businesses with 100 employees or more $14k per vaccine/testing violation. But the US Postal Service, a Goliath of federal agency, is exempt,” the reporter added.
The Executive Order stated:
The health and safety of the Federal workforce, and the health and safety of members of the public with whom they interact, are foundational to the efficiency of the civil service. I have determined that ensuring the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service requires immediate action to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce. It is essential that Federal employees take all available steps to protect themselves and avoid spreading COVID-19 to their co-workers and members of the public. The CDC has found that the best way to do so is to be vaccinated. [Emphasis added]
Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Each agency shall implement, to the extent consistent with applicable law, a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its Federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law. The Task Force shall issue guidance within 7 days of the date of this order on agency implementation of this requirement for all agencies covered by this order. [Emphasis added]
Earlier this year, the American Postal Workers Union, one of the USPS’s unions, criticized Biden’s effort to require federal workers to receive the vaccine.
“While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent,” the union said in a statement.
The Post pointed out that the USPS is an independent agency, part of the executive branch. But for the agency to adhere to Executive Orders, it must be specifically included.
**UPDATE** CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reports the White House now claims Postal Workers will not be exempt from the vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 employees:
Postal Service workers are not subjected to federal mandate, but fall under the Labor Department rule announced by President Biden aimed at businesses with more than 100 employees, a senior administration official tells CNN, with employees required to vaccinate or test weekly.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) September 10, 2021
Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.