Unions weigh in on idea of vaccine mandate for federal workers as COVID-19 cases rise

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 17:51:35-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Unions for federal workers are weighing in on the President’s idea of a vaccine mandate, while military installations in the Tampa Bay area are enforcing stricter safety measures in light of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We represent the clerk craft, motor vehicle craft, and maintenance craft of postal employees," said Don Barron, the Executive Vice President of the Tampa Area Local American Postal Workers Union.

With the President’s push to address the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, Barron shared their stance on the idea of vaccine mandates for federal workers.

“While we encourage our members to get vaccinated voluntarily, we don’t agree with an involuntary mandate of a vaccination by the federal government of the members of the American Postal Workers Union,” said Barron. “People have to make their own decisions, and just because you’re federal employees does not give the federal government the right to mandate you to get vaccinated because of your job.”

Barron says the union has worked side by side with the Postal Service as best they can to ensure the health and safety of their members.

“We’ve been working with management in terms of, just like everybody else in the world, having everything that they need, trying to get everything that people need to work in the best possible safe work environment during COVID,” said Barron.

As the vaccination push continues, some are also taking another look at COVID-19 safety measures. Starting Thursday, July 29 at MacDill Air Force Base, the installation will transition to stricter COVID protocols, citing the increasing community transmission on and off base and low vaccination rates.

“Per the Secretary of Defense, effective immediately everyone must wear a face covering at all times while indoors on the installation, regardless of vaccination status,” a video stated on MacDill AFB’s social media page.