U.S. companies face a “worker rebellion” and a potential workforce shortage, as President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate deadline grows closer, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“We’re going to lose a lot of employees over this,” local Kansas Machinists union district head Cornell Adams told the publication. Nearly half of 10,000 employees at aircraft companies Textron Inc. and Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, have chosen to forego the Chinese coronavirus jab and are at risk of losing their jobs for not complying with Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order September 9 requiring all employees working for a federal contractor or subcontractor to get vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus by November 24 to be considered “fully vaccinated” by a December 8, 2021, deadline.
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) November 2, 2021
“That means federal contract workers need to have received their last COVID-19 shot at least two weeks before the deadline to gain maximum protection, according to U.S. government guidance,” the report states. “With a three-week gap between shots of the Pfizer /BioNTech vaccine, workers must get the first jab by Wednesday. If the government holds fast to its deadline, it is already too late to choose Moderna’s vaccine, which is given in two doses four weeks apart. Workers could opt to get Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine until Nov. 24 to meet the deadline.”
After receiving much backlash, the Biden administration has attempted to paint December 8 as a soft deadline — White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said last week that federal contractors “will not be required to immediate [sic] lay-off workers” and will allow time for “education, counseling and other measures before potentially ending employment.”
The union district has already hired a lawyers based out of Texas to help employees and “prepare potential lawsuits” if companies are denied requests for medical and religious exemptions. Adams, who has reportedly always voted Democrat, said the party has lost him forever.
“They’ll never get another vote from me and I’m telling the workers here the same thing,” he said.
More than 7,000 U.S. Boeing Co. employees have applied for religious exemptions and 1,000 have applied for medical exemptions — roughly 6 percent of the company’s 125,000 U.S. workers, according to the report.
“The rebellion has put Boeing executives in a bind. The company could lose skilled staff, but must comply with a presidential order,” Reuters reported.
Similarly, Raytheon Technologies’ (a U.S. defense firm) CEO Greg Hayes said last week that the company could lose “several thousand” workers because of Biden’s Chinese coronavirus mandate. The problem extends to cargo carriers, who say Biden’s deadline is unattainable.
“A group representing FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and other cargo carriers said it would be virtually impossible to have all their workforces vaccinated by the deadline,” according to the report.
The threat of thousands of American jobs lost comes after the Biden administration repeatedly promised to make vaccination voluntary.