American companies are now walking back on vaccine mandates they earlier imposed on workers as three federal judges overturned the Biden administration’s executive order requiring workers to get injected with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
The Daily Gazette reported on Dec. 8 that GE employees are no longer required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The company made the announcement through a letter penned by Kevin Cox, the company’s chief human resources officer.
Cox’s letter said that uploading proof of vaccination into the company’s tracking portal is no longer mandatory. However, employees must still mask up in indoor settings unless they can maintain at least six feet of social distance.
Prior to the suspension, the company was requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Those unable to get injected or fail to show a medical or religious exemption would be terminated.
About 200 GE employees in the company’s Schenectady, New York plant walked out to protest the mandate. The participating workers were also members of the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) Local 301.
Christopher DePoalo, the labor union’s business agent, dubbed GE’s pause of the mandate as a victory. “I think it’s a win. Hopefully, we can move forward,” he said, adding that many Local 301 members are pleased with the pause because the choice to get vaccinated “is going to be theirs.”
The U.S. Navy shipbuilder HII also walked back on its vaccine mandate through a Nov. 16 letter. HII CEO Mike Petters wrote that employees will no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 4, 2022.
“With respect to Ingalls Shipbuilding and Newport News Shipbuilding, our customer has confirmed that our contracts do not include a requirement to implement the [vaccine] mandate. In light of this development, we are hereby suspending the deadline for vaccination, except where specific [HII] Technical Solutions contracts require it,” the letter stated.
The company initially announced that its 25,000 employees must be vaccinated by Dec. 8 as a “condition of continued employment.” HII later moved the vaccination deadline to January 2022, until its Nov. 16 suspension. (Related: Navy shipbuilder suspends vaccine mandate after employees threaten to quit.)
However, the shipbuilder clarified that the suspension of the vaccine mandate will be lifted the moment it becomes a contractual requirement and that HII “may choose to implement other measures aimed at improving workforce vaccination rate.”
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) Executive Director Daniel McAdams commented on companies such as HII and GE rescinding their vaccine mandates.
“[The] nationwide annihilation of [President Joe] Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate at the hands of U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker has resulted in a landslide retreat of cowardly mega-corporations from their so-called bullying of American workers,” he wrote in a Dec. 10 piece.
According to NBC News, the Georgia-based Baker ruled on Dec. 7 that allowing the mandate to take effect “would force plaintiffs to comply, requiring them to make decisions which would significantly alter their ability to perform federal contract which is critical to their operations.”
The federal judge’s ruling is the third decision striking down the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, following rulings by other federal judges in Louisiana and Kentucky. (Related: HUGE: Federal judge blocks Biden’s nationwide covid “vaccine” mandate for employees of federal contractors.)
The RPI official added: “Biden’s mandates have always been a bullying gamble [and] an admission. [They] knew they were engaging in illegal acts, but they would continue to use the not-insignificant weapons of the executive branch to blast as much harm as possible – until the courts stepped in and noted the obvious.”
“With the welcome disintegration of this evil government decree, one by one the mega-corporations also see their position as shifting to the untenable. They are bailing out as fast as possible.”
Check out this video by Tammy Cuthbert Garcia of “Naturally Inspired” that talks about Baker’s Dec. 7 ruling against the vaccine mandate.
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