Vaccination has picked pace but there are people who are still hesitant in getting vaccinated. There are several steps being taken to encourage people to get vaccinated. In the meantime, AT&T has announced that it will require all its union-represented workers to get fully vaccinated by the beginning of next year. The company said in a statement that all workers that are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union must comply with the vaccine mandate. The deadline to do has been fixed as February 1. This is mandatory unless they get an approved accommodation.
The US wireless carrier said that that the policy is applicable to employees working in stores of the company, employees who visit clients or customer events or sites, and even those who are working from remote locations at the moment. AT&T employees the largest number of union-represented workers. It has already been mandated that management employees should be get fully vaccinated by October 11. Union officials have tried to engage with the company over the policy but they have not been able to reach a common ground. The two sides never agreed to a common point and there was no mutual agreement. In fact, the union could not even convince the company to agree to at least some modifications to the policy.
Among the modification that the union wanted was pushing back the deadline. The other modification that the union was pushing for was a 60-day unpaid ‘reconsideration period’ for those employees who fail to get vaccinated in the given time frame. These employees will be marked as ‘rehireable’. A spokesperson of the company has refused to comment on the negotiation process. But he emphasized that the decision was taken after discussion with the union. AT&T is the only company in the United States with a workforce that is represented by a union. But it is not the only company to implement such a mandate. There are various companies that have mandated employees to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19. These mandates are coming amid the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, especially the delta variant. Biden administration has asked big companies to mandate vaccines. Or they can have employees get weekly testing done for Covid-19.