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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Union workers won’t have to get COVID-19 vaccine, automakers decide

This week, a major union and three major automakers announced an agreement that includes a ban on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Ford, General Motors and Stellantis are asking United Auto Workers (UAW) union members to report if they have given the injection, but are not being asked to do so at this time, the four parties said in a joint statement.

“In addition to encouraging participants to disclose their vaccination status, the task force continues to urge all members, colleagues and their families to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, while realizing that there are personal reasons that may prevent some members from getting vaccinated, for example, due to health problems or religious beliefs, ”the statement said.

The parties have together formed a so-called Joint Working Group on COVID-19 to negotiate a pact on COVID-19 vaccines and related issues.

The task force is demanding that all workers wear masks, citing the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Delta virus and “recent data indicating continued high transmission rates in some geographic regions.”

The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths has dropped significantly across the country since the peak of the fall, but increased in some regions. In Michigan, where all three carmakers have factories, numbers have jumped to the nation’s highest in recent weeks.

“One of the best ways to fight this virus is to vaccinate as many people as possible. The more UAW members, employees and their families are vaccinated and receive boosters, the sooner this deadly pandemic will be overcome, ”the task force said.

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Officials said they will continue to monitor the situation, including monitoring federal directives and regulations.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced that a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all private businesses with 100 or more employees would take effect in early January 2022, but that mandate has so far been blocked by a federal court over concerns that it violates the US Constitution. …

The administration on Tuesday asked the judges to remove the lock.

The UAW has approximately 400,000 members, although some of them work for companies outside the three automakers.

When President Joe Biden first announced strict vaccination requirements for federal workers, contractors and private employees in September, the UAW said it was looking into the details. In a statement following the release of details of the private business mandate, the union said it continues to urge its members to get vaccinated, “but realizes that in some cases, issues related to health and religion do not make it possible.”

The UAW said it is not tracking how many participants receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Previously, Ford and Stellantis required non-unionized employees to be vaccinated. General Motors required these employees to disclose their vaccination status, but did not impose any requirements.

To follow

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and court cases. He started out at The Epoch Times as a reporter in the New York City subway.

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