Ford calls for COVID vaccines for “most” US employees
The Detroit News (TNS)
Ford Motor Co. will require most U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or take unpaid vacation by December 8, which is likely to affect return to work policies at other employers.
“The health and safety of our workforce remains our number one priority and we have been greatly encouraged by helping our employees adhere to our protocols, including the more than 84 percent of US employees who are already vaccinated,” spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said in one Explanation.
The December 8 deadline is in line with a federal mandate for government contractors to ensure their employees are vaccinated. Ford’s announcement also precedes a final version of President Joe Biden’s vaccination or testing mandate for companies with more than 100 employees, which is expected to be released on Thursday.
“We are continuing to evaluate our policies for employees at our manufacturing facilities, parts depots, and Ford Credit, including analyzing federal requirements and collective bargaining,” said Bradley. Workers who cannot receive the vaccine for religious or medical reasons are entitled to an exemption.
Most of Ford’s hourly workers will be subject to the Large Company Guidelines, which will be released shortly. These requirements are being negotiated with the UAW, said Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley. The United Auto Workers recommended that members get vaccinated, but declined a vaccination mandate.
“Our position continues to be that we strongly encourage members to get vaccinated, but understand that there are reasons, such as health or religious reasons, that they cannot,” said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg in a statement on Wednesday.
Ford is not the first automaker to tell its US employees that they are vaccinated. Mercedes-Benz USA of Daimler AG, based in Atlanta, calls for employees to be vaccinated by January 4th.
General Motors Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether a similar arrangement would be considered. Neither GM nor Stellantis NV require employees to be vaccinated, even though all three Detroit automakers have a mandate to vaccinate their workers in Canada.
Toyota Motor Corp. declined to comment on its policies and Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG were not immediately available for comment.
Indiana Automotive’s Subaru spokesman Craig Koven said in a statement, “Although we have strongly encouraged our employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and have hosted many on-site vaccination clinics, it is currently not mandatory for vaccinated people to be in our facilities continue to wear a mask. “
Stellantis advised The Detroit News of a questionnaire that employees and visitors are required to complete upon entering corporate buildings, including whether or not they have been vaccinated.
“Ever since vaccines became available, Stellantis has been committed to ensuring that our employees get vaccinated,” said spokeswoman Jodi Tinson in a statement. “As part of our protocol, all US employees have been required since the spring to self-certify their vaccination status. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with the UAW to evaluate additional measures that must be taken in the best interests of the employee’s health.” and security. “
The Canadian auto workers’ union Unifor is pushing back the company’s mandate in Canada and sending a letter to Stellantis requesting that the rollout be paused.
“Our position is that Stellantis should follow other workplaces in a production environment that have vaccination policies that provide safe alternative options for those who choose not to vaccinate,” said Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444 in Windsor, where the automaker is located Assembling Chrysler Minivans. wrote in a letter to members. “These types of policies also do not result in members being terminated or put on unpaid leave.”