According to CNBC, Ford Motor Company will force salaried staff in the United States to be vaccinated by December 8 or suffer unpaid vacation.
Ford sent a note to its roughly 32,000 salaried staff on Tuesday informing them of the mandate. According to Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley, the corporation will consider religious and medical exemptions for employees who are unable to receive immunizations.
Most Of Ford’s Paid Employees Are Required To Get The COVID Vaccine
Employees who refuse to get vaccinated and do not have a valid medical or religious exemption may be placed on unpaid leave with job protection for up to 30 days, according to an emailed statement from the firm. What happens after those 30 days was immediately unknown.
Brentley added in a separate emailed statement that their employees’ health and safety is the top priority for the company. “As part of our ongoing efforts to protect our employees, Ford will now require most salaried personnel in the United States to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, which also complies with government contractor rules.”
According to Brentley, parts of Ford’s operations are classified as federal contractors. According to new White House advice announced Monday, such contractors will have broad discretion in enforcing President Joe Biden’s Covid vaccination mandate.
Ford’s mandate does not encompass plant workers, parts depots, or its Ford Credit banking arm at this moment. According to Brentley, the corporation is looking into federal and collective bargaining requirements for that personnel.
Ford’s about 57,000 workers, who are represented by the United Auto Workers union, are the largest group not affected by the rule.
The United Auto Workers have pushed members to be vaccinated, but it opposes making vaccines mandatory for workers. Instead, it will rely on its more than 400,000 members to decide whether or not to get vaccinated.
On Oct. 18, the union took part in a conference call with White House officials and other key labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, to discuss the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. The AFL-CIO is urging the government to broaden the mandate to include more worker safeguards.
After the vaccine mandate was announced, the UAW told CNBC that it will assess the implications on its more than 700 contracts.
The vaccine requirement comes as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalizes a separate rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees – roughly two-thirds of the private sector workforce – to implement a mandatory Covid vaccination policy unless they develop a plan that allows employees to get tested on a regular basis.
Prior to the new rule, Ford was one of the first automakers to raise reservations about mandatory Covid vaccines, which will also apply to their massive, unionized workforces.
Ford is the first major American automaker to make vaccines a condition of employment. GM and Stellantis (formerly Fiat, Chrysler) historically required salaried personnel to register their immunization status, but no mandate has been enacted.
GM did not respond to a request for comment on any modifications to its vaccination policies for paid employees right away.
According to a Stellantis representative in the United States, the firm has not adopted a Covid vaccination obligation.
In an emailed statement, she said, “Stellantis has continued to vigorously encourage our personnel to get vaccinated since vaccinations have become accessible.” “We’re keeping an eye on the issue and, in collaboration with the UAW, we’re reviewing additional steps to take in the best interests of employee health and safety.”