Automakers, Unions Agree Not to Require Vaccine, Will Require Masks

Automakers, Unions Agree Not to Require Vaccine, Will Require Masks a vaccine passport card is handed over by a man (Antwon McMullen/Dreamstime)

By Luca Cacciatore | Tuesday, 23 November 2021 07:16 PM

General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler announced Tuesday they will withhold vaccine mandates for thousands of employees but will require on-site masking after negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, according to a joint statement.

The declaration also encourages unionized workers to report their vaccination status at their own discretion but does not require it.

"The Task Force continues to urge all members, coworkers, and their families to get vaccinated and get booster vaccinations against COVID-19, while understanding that there are personal reasons that may prevent some members from being vaccinated, such as health issues or religious beliefs," the statement read.

A Department of Labor (DOL) regulation issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Nov. 5 required all private businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or regular testing by Jan. 4.

The OSHA rule& was temporarily blocked Nov. 12 by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah – as well as various companies, religious groups, and private citizens.

The Biden administration asked the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday to rescind the temporary stay of the OSHA rule, CNN reported.

"Simply put, delaying the Standard would likely cost many lives per day, in addition to large numbers of hospitalizations, other serious health effects, and tremendous expenses," the administration said in its filing. "That is a confluence of harms of the highest order."

The administration told the Sixth Circuit, if it does not lift the order blocking the mandate, it should at least modify the Fifth Circuit's order "so that the masking-and-testing requirement can remain in effect during the pendency of this litigation."