Unions, Contractors & Business Groups Hammer NYC Vaccine Mandate

“Unreasonable and irresponsible”: business representatives push back against New York City’s vaccine mandate.

Source : @NYCMayor

December 13, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

Right off the bat, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on December 6 “a first in the nation measure” to mandate vaccination for private sector workers “across the board,” there was immediate pushback.

Kathryn Wylde, chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, a business group including behemoths of industries like JPMorgan Chase, said employers were “caught off guard” by the announcement in an interview with the Wall Street Journal later during the day of the announcement.

“There’s no clarity around who and how this will be enforced,” she told the outlet, adding that employers were asking her if they would need to fire workers who don’t comply. 

Randy Peers, president and chief executive of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, told the outlet that the policy could create “problematic confrontations” between workers and employers and potentially exacerbate labor shortages.

Also on December 6, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) New York, put out a statement saying that the mayor’s vaccine mandate “is completely unreasonable and irresponsible.”

Also citing labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and inflation, the organization argued that small and independent businesses will only be further crushed by the new requirement.

Additionally, the organization added that “This ill-thought-out policy will lead to a surge in unemployment insurance claims at a time when the system is completely broke, and the state owes more than $9 billion in federal UI advances – digging the state deeper into a hole.”

Moreover, NFIB claimed that Mayor de Blasio made the call to mandate vaccination in the private sector “without any consultation with the employer or small business advocacy community,” concluding “this conduct is utterly shameful.”

Of particular note, and perhaps irritation of interested parties, is that Mayor de Blasio’s term ends on January 1, 2022. According to the Wall Street Journal, the mayor is aiming for the mandate to go into effect on December 27, meaning that he’ll only be mayor for four days of the policy being implemented and won’t have to address the fallout it could cause.

In a December 9 article over at Construction Dive, even more businesses representatives voiced their concern. Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC), said that the mandate raises “questions about implementation and enforcement, and it's important that they are thoughtfully addressed to ensure the city's economic recovery is not further jeopardized."

BCTC represents more than 100,000 tradespeople across the Big Apple, according to Construction Dive.

"The larger and more organized construction managers have self-policed the COVID compliance efforts without much trouble, however the threats of fines, violations, and Department of Buildings actions are part of the continued shift of the city's administrative and enforcement responsibilities onto contractors," John Mingione, chief operating officer at construction and development firm Omnibuild, told the outlet. He went on to characterize the mandate as “heavy-handed and punitive.”

Category : Contractor Trades Coronavirus Pandemic Labor Local Government

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