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Why the Retail Industry Is Fighting Vaccine Mandates

  • November 25, 2021

“I think employers are embarrassed and ashamed by what they are objecting to and therefore use the N.R.F. as a cover,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

He added: “If you had a choice of going to a workplace, or as a customer to go to a store, that said, ‘All our employees are vaccinated or tested,’ or another store that says, ‘We have no idea who’s vaccinated or tested,’ which would you choose? And that’s why, let’s say, Acme Department Store doesn’t want to advertise that it’s promoting bad public policy.”

Many employers in industries, like retail, that have mandated vaccines at corporate offices have not required them for frontline workers, sharing concerns about challenges in hiring. But those workers, including about four million at stores, are among the most vulnerable. They interact frequently with the public and are less likely to be vaccinated themselves. Mandates at Tyson, United Airlines and several health care companies indicate that when faced with the prospect of losing their job, employees most frequently choose inoculation.

“We know vaccine requirements work,” said Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for the White House. “The federal government, the country’s largest employer, has successfully implemented its requirement in a way that has boosted vaccinations and avoids any disruptions to operations.”

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Still, companies mandating vaccines have faced protests or lawsuits. In some states litigation has been passed to impede it. Disney, for instance, paused a mandate for employees at Disney World in Florida after it became illegal for employers in the state to require workers to get the shot.

The panic and precautions tied to Covid-19 have played out at retail stores throughout the pandemic and ensnared their workers.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/25/business/retail-vaccine-mandates.html

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