U.S. healthcare unions protest jab mandates

Any American company that employs members of the United Healthcare Workers and demands that they get injected with what is called vaccine against Covid-19 will have a major battle on their hands.

The president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East said hospitals haven’t the right to mandate vaccines for employees.

George Gresham made his point perfectly clear in a recent interview with the New York-based Gothamist website.

United Healthcare Workers East calls itself the largest health care union in the United States.

According to Gresham, “Whether there is a legal challenge that we can make, or whether it’s just a pure organizational challenge that we can make, we are not going to just give in.”

The union, based in New York, also represents hundreds of thousands of nurses and caregivers in New Jersey, Florida, Washington, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

Spreading the panic

The NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital in New York had mandated  that its employees be vaccinated against the virus. It wasn’t alone: a number of other hospitals have taken similar steps.

Gresham said that he himself has been vaccinated. He has encouraged union members to get vaccinated, too.

But, he added, workers “have the right to make their decision about their own health.”

The UHW is not the only healthcare-related union opposing mandatory shots: the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) opposes vaccine mandates, as well.

“NYSNA strongly opposes the mandatory vaccination of health care providers for Covid-19 as a condition of employment or as a state or federal mandate,” the union stated.

The NewYork–Presbyterian hospital informed its workers that it would require them to get at least their first Covid-19 vaccine shot by Sept. 1.

“We care for sick people – some critically so – every day, and we are responsible for their safety while in our care,” the mandate notice states. “The stakes in this matter are high, and the evidence is clear that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is the most important and responsible action we can take as NYP team members for the safety and well-being of our patients and visitors, our communities, and ourselves.”

The hospital’s statement ignores recent science that disputes the usefulness of the vaccines, challenges their safety and questions the existence of a pandemic altogether.

This is not a one-off situation: not so long ago, employees of the Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas challenged the system’s vaccine requirement. They were rejected by a judge several weeks ago. A Houston Methodist spokesperson has since stated that 153 employees were fired on June 22 or had quit during the previous two-week period.

The official hysteria has been going on for quite some time. For example, Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in the state of New York, requires all new hires, volunteers and students working in its facilities to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and will soon order employees who are not inoculated to submit to regular testing for the coronavirus. About 75 per cent of Northwell staff have taken shots so far.

On the other hand, only 57 per cent of employees at New York’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, are fully vaccinated. This system has no plans to make the shots a condition of employment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued an instruction document, according to which it’s legal for employers to demand that their staff get vaccinated in order to enter the workplace.

Heated debates

The issue causes contradictions within the unions themselves. While many deplore the demand that they are mandated to get the inoculation, they also say they’ve got injected because of personal concerns.

Hospital managers counter that they have been demanding that their employees get inoculated against the flu, measles, rubella and varicella.

The difference, opponents say, is that all of the coronavirus vaccines are still classified under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their clinical tests won’t be finished before the year 2023.

Strangely, New York’s public universities have made it known that they will only require Covid-19 vaccinations for students for the fall semester if one receives FDA approval by then.

This is called CYA (covering your behind) in North American bureaucratese.

And it points to a strange contradiction: private owners are permitted to discriminate even though discrimination on medical grounds has been legally taboo for quite some time. If they kicked out someone because she is a black woman, all hell would break loose.

The burden of proof ought to be on those who abuse the situation to muddy the water of basic freedoms.

Those who disagree with them have made their case already: even the official numbers, when analysed properly and in detail, show that the current fear-mongering campaign is but a fear-mongering campaign.

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