The United Steelworkers union urges Exxon Mobil locked out workers to reject the company’s recent contract offer. The vote for the contract is scheduled to take place just two weeks after workers petitioned the NLRB for a union removal vote. The USW issued a statement to workers that said the contract proposal would “lead to some jobs being eliminated” and laid out positions where there would be no pay increases this year or in coming years.
See Erwin Seba, "Union urges locked-out Texas refinery workers to reject Exxon contract offer – statement", Reuters, October 15, 2021
Labor experts say that we are currently seeing a “strike wave” among workers across the U.S. With what has been coined “striketober” in the media, nearly 100,000 workers are currently on strike or preparing to strike. Labor experts say that as of this week, 175 strikes have been documented this year. They attribute this large wave to the fact that “there are shared issues that are pushing workers to go on strike – and workers are looking at each other and getting inspired.”
See Ahiza Garcia-Hodges, "‘Striketober’ signals ‘tremendous sacrifice’ – but workers say it has been a long time coming", NBC News, October 15, 2021
Verizon has announced an expansive vaccine mandate for their employees. The company said that thousands of their non-union U.S. employees will have to comply with President Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8th. Their retail employees will have until February 1st to get fully vaccinated. The company is in talks with its unions about a mandate for their 30,000 unionized U.S. employees.
See David Shepardson, "Verizon says majority of U.S. employees must be vaccinated", Reuters, October 15, 2021
Over 10,000 John Deere workers went on strike today after the union voted to reject the company’s contract offer earlier in the week. 35 years has passed since John Deere’s last major strike and the company is facing pressure from suppliers, customers, and government officials to move closer to the union’s demands quickly. A UAW representative said of the strike, “Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules.”
See "Deere & Co. workers go on strike after rejecting contract", ABC News, October 14, 2021
On Wednesday, Union Pacific Corp said they will require all of its 31,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated in accordance with Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Other companies like Amtrak, Boeing, and major U.S. airlines have announced similar accordance policies for their employees. The White House is planning to add vaccination mandates as clauses to their future government contracts.
See David Shepardson , "Union Pacific to comply with COVID vaccine deadline for U.S. workers", Reuters, October 14, 2021
The Transportation Security Administration has a mandate that employees need to be fully vaccinated by November 22nd. As of this week, 4 out of 10 workers remain unvaccinated. This deadline is the Monday before Thanksgiving which is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so a TSA representative says they are “building contingency plans, for if we do have some staffing shortages as a result of this.” The TSA has also been holding town hall meetings to encourage employees to get vaccinated.
See Gregory Wallace and Pete Muntean, "TSA says 40% of employees are unvaccinated as deadline looms", CNN, October 14, 2021
United Airlines has been court ordered to abstain from placing workers who requested a medical or religious exemption to their vaccine mandate on unpaid leave. The six employees who filed a lawsuit with a federal judge in Texas claimed that “unpaid leave is not a reasonable accommodation, but rather an adverse employment action.” United has been ordered to hold off on removing any worker requesting exemption from their payroll until October 26th.
See Jaclyn Diaz, "United Airlines must delay its vaccine mandate for workers seeking an exemption", NPR, October 13, 2021
The trans employee resource group at Netflix is planning a walkout. The leader of the ERG said that “Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community.” The walkout will take place on October 20th and will be in protest to statements made by the company’s co-CEO.
See Zoe Schiffer, "Trans employees at Netflix plan walkout even as one activist is reinstated following suspension", The Verge, October 13, 2021
Leon County in Florida is being fined more than $3.5 million for imposing a vaccine mandate for employees. The state sent Leon County administrator Vincent Long a notice of violation claiming that their vaccine requirement for employees violated a state law that had been announced by Florida’s governor in September. The law states that “government agencies that force a vaccine as a condition of employment can be fined $5,000 for every instance of doing so.” With a total of 714 violations, the county has 30 days to pay a fine of more than $3.5 million.
See Li Cohen, "Florida fines county more than $3.5 million for requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID", CBS News, October 13, 2021
Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday banning all state entities from enforcing vaccine mandates. This ban will include private employers. This allows anyone in the state to object to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine “for any reason of personal conscience, based on religious belief, or for medical reasons.” He has asked the Texas state legislature to pass a law with the same effect.
See Paul LeBlanc, "Texas governor bans Covid-19 vaccine mandates by any employer in state", CNN, October 12, 2021