The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has said that it opposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, amid reports that the White House is considering so-called vaccine passports as a condition of employment for federal employees.
The union, which represents over 220,000 postal workers, released a statement on July 28 saying that while it will encourage postal workers to get vaccinated against the CCP virus, which causes COVID-19, it’s “not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.”
“Issues related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU. At this time, the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers,” the statement reads.
The APWU released its statement a day after President Joe Biden said the White House is considering mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all federal workers.
“That’s under consideration right now,” the president said on July 27, when pressed on the issue on a trip to McLean, Virginia.
Biden was also asked whether he was “concerned that the CDC’s mask guidance could sow confusion.”
He responded: “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they’re sowing enormous confusion.
“And there’s only one thing we know for sure, if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world. So get vaccinated. If you haven’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I said you were.”
The president is set to deliver remarks on COVID-19 at the White House on July 29.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will be the first major federal agency to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination mandate, for its health care employees. It cited the rise in the highly contagious Delta variant in the United States and veteran safety.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 28 said that all state employees would either have to get vaccinated or face regular testing.
“President Biden has reported that he’s going to announce soon that all federal employees must be vaccinated or get tested. New York state is doing the same,” the governor, a Democrat, said during a virtual meeting.
“It’s smart. It’s fair. It’s in everyone’s interest,” Cuomo said, noting that he’s coordinating with state unions to implement the vaccine requirement by Labor Day, Sept. 6.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced on July 26 that all city workers would have to either be vaccinated or face weekly testing. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a similar measure hours later.
Critics of the measure argue that the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States haven’t yet received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration pending the safety and efficacy results of the ongoing phase three trials.
Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are currently being administered in the United States under emergency use authorization (EUA), meaning that vaccine manufacturers aren’t held liable for any injury, including death, that their vaccines may cause.