The Big Three automakers do not require their employees to get vaccinated, though they probably should, since it increasingly seems like companies doing that — like Walmart and Disney have — is one path out of this mess. Instead, for now: Mask back up, the Big Three and the UAW said Tuesday.
The policy covers every American autoworker at Ford, GM, and Stellantis, vaccinated or not. And while none of them have required the vaccine for workers, I do applaud their strong statement in support of getting vaccinated. From that statement, issued by the COVID-19 Joint Task Force composed of reps from the Big Three and the UAW:
The [task force], has determined that personnel will be required to wear masks at all plants, offices and warehouses, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Aug. 4. This is in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent change in COVID-19 workplace standards related to the Delta variant.
The Task Force met and, after reviewing the recently changed CDC guidelines and community COVID-19 trends, decided it is best for worker safety to resume wearing masks in all worksites.
While we know that masks can be uncomfortable, the spread of the Delta variant and recent data outlining the alarmingly high rate of transmission among those unvaccinated is a serious health threat.
We know that the best way to fight this virus is by getting vaccinated. The Task Force is strongly encouraging all members, coworkers and their families to roll up their sleeves so we can move more quickly on once again relaxing mask protocols. The more our members, coworkers and their families are vaccinated, the quicker we can vanquish this deadly pandemic.
There’s still time to require the vaccination and indeed, that might be the only way to compel some people to get it. And, sooner or later, probably every company is going to realize that not requiring vaccinations puts them at a competitive disadvantage, as a sick employee is not a productive employee. This is the system we built.