The head of the organization that represents companies in labor relations at U.S ports has expressed his worry that the federal vaccine mandate may worsen supply-chain crisis.
Bloomberg reports that James McKenna, the president of the Pacific Maritime Association, said he is concerned that unvaccinated workers won’t show up for work with this mandate in place. In fact, he estimated 30% to 40% of local dockworkers aren’t vaccinated.
McKenna said, “Probably the worst thing that could happen to us is to have less bodies available to man these terminals.” The federal vaccine mandate requires that companies with over 100 employees must have all workers vaccinated by January 4th, or get tested weekly. Companies face the potential of large fines if they don’t comply. The mandate is currently on hold, since a federal appeals court in New Orleans.
McKenna noted that it will be difficult to enforce this mandate due to employees being dispatched to high demand areas. Many employees wouldn’t be subject to the mandate, since it does not apply to those working outdoors. It will be extremely difficult to keep track of the 15,000 employees who float between different facilities, especially if they are required to get tested.
Bloomberg Law says that transportation groups are requesting exemptions for their employees. This vaccine mandate, “will create a workforce crisis for our industry and the community and businesses we serve,” Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA wrote in a letter to the White House. This crisis will affect all aspects of the shipping industry, including trucking companies.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES
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