Ford Motor has apparently decided to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for all of it salaried employees in the United States. There are roughly 32,000 salaried employees of the company in America. The carmaker may set a deadline of December 8 for its employees to get inoculated. This will be in accordance with US President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal workers. The company would consider religious exemptions for those who have medical problems or cannot get inoculated because of religious regions. According to company spokesperson Monique Brentley, those not being able to get vaccinated before the mentioned timeline would face unpaid leave. Such employees will get job protection for up to a month only. However, it is not clear at the moment that what would be the next step of the company after those 30 days. “Ford always gives importance to the health and safety of its employees.
At the same, we are encouraged to see strong support from our employees. They are complying with the protocols set by the company, including the one which makes it mandatory for 84 percent of salaried employees in the United States to get vaccinated. This is already the case.” “However, the percentage of people getting vaccinated needs to be increased as a measure to protect our team. This is why the company would require most of its salaried employees in America to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They need to do this before December 8. The move aligns with the guidelines for a federal contractor,” the spokesperson said.
Brentley said that part of the business owned by Ford is categorized as being a federal contractor. According to new guidelines released by the White House with regards to Covid-19, these contractors will have broad leeway when it comes to implementing the coronavirus vaccine mandate of President Joe Biden. The mandate that requires most Ford workers in the United States to get vaccinated does not include factory workers, parts depots and its financial arm Ford Credit. Brentley said that Ford is analyzing requirements of the federal guidelines for workers. The company said that a large group of around 57,000 workers is not impacted by the mandate. These workers are represented by the United Auto Workers Union. However, the union has been encouraging members to get vaccinated against Covid-19. But the UAW is not in favor of making vaccines mandatory for workers.
It is relying on over 400,000 members to get personally vaccinated. The union took part in the call given to discuss the vaccine mandate issued by the Biden administration. The call was given by officials of the White House and other prominent unions like the AFL-CIO. It is pertinent to mention that the AFL-CIO has been asking the administration to expand the mandate in order to include additional worker protections. The UAW has said that it would review the impact of the vaccine mandate once it is published. The mandate is likely to impact its over 700 contracts.
The development comes at a time when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is giving final touches to rules for businesses with 100 or more employees. The rule is likely to require such businesses to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory. Or they need to put in place a system that will give works the option to get tested regularly. According to an estimate, the rule will cover around two-thirds of the private sector workforce. Automakers are not very keen on mandating Covid-19 vaccinations ahead of the new rule. On the other hand, Ford Motor is the first major automaker in America to impose a vaccine mandate.
Stellantis and General Motors have earlier asked their employees to submit vaccination status. However, they have not made it mandatory. A spokeswoman of Stellantis said that the company has not implemented a Covid vaccine mandate. “Vaccines are now easily available and we are continuing to encourage employees to get vaccinated. We will continue to monitor the situation and will evaluate additional actions in partnership with the UAW. We will take decisions that are in the best interest of our employees.” GM has not reacted to the new mandate and has not talked about any changes as far as vaccination policy for salaried workers is concerned.