Cargo Giants Slam Joe Biden Over Vaccine Mandates

A trade association for air freight titans like FedEx and UPS is raising concerns over President Biden’s looming Dec. 8 vaccination deadline. The association is claiming it will cause mayhem at the peak days of the year…and throw yet again another twist to the distribution chain.

They Have Serious Concerns

“We have serious concerns about the company regulation announcements made on September 9, 2021, and the capacity of industry representatives to enact the required employee immunizations by December 8, 2021,” Stephen Alterman, chairman of the Cargo Airline Organization, wrote in a letter to President Biden.

The email, addressed to the Office of Management and Budget, requests the timeframe be postponed until “the first part of 2022.” The mandate set forth by the Biden government that all federal employees be completely immunized by December 8 is in dispute.

Government contractors, unlike private enterprises, are unable to opt-out by subjecting their workers to frequent COVID testing.

Public health officials lauded the date as a strategy to boost vaccination coverage, as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak. Business organizations and Republicans, on the other hand, have cautioned it could have negative economic consequences.

The deadline falls during the busiest festive season and some of the world’s largest cargo transportation companies, such as UPS and FedEx, already are experiencing staffing shortages.

“The imminent December 8 obligation for having fully vaccinated workforces creates a serious supply chain concern,” Alterman said in remarks to the Transportation Department.

The Organization Has Powerful Members

FedEx, UPS, DHL Express, as well as Atlas Air (which flies Amazon’s freight) are among the Cargo Institution’s membership. Many of these cargo transporters, according to Alterman, are assisting in the transport of critical medical supplies, including immunizations, to combat the current pandemic.

“This issue is compounded by the fact we’ve had a shortage of workers, both in the ground and in the air,” he said. “Any decline of staff who refuse to be immunized will have a negative impact on needed processes.”

Industry representatives have been in talks with the government for weeks about the Dec. 8 deadline and vaccine obligations. However, two persons involved with the conversations said they had considerable issues regarding the short timeframe.

According to one of the individuals, the combination of the festive season, a tight schedule, and a workforce shortage due to vaccination resistance produced a “triple whammy” for delivery firms.

They believe meeting the federal mandate will be exceedingly difficult and their legal teams are still determining how to execute the directive. “We’re looking into the executive order as well as what it means for UPS and our employees,” said UPS representative Kara Ross.

“All of our staff should get vaccinated,” says the company. “Vaccination is still the most effective approach to keep our employees, communities, and organizations strong and healthy.”

On Thursday, a FedEx spokeswoman stated the company was “engaging with the necessary government entities” over the December 8 deadline.