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US Vaccine Mandates Raises Supply Chain Bottleneck Fears

Workers and industry groups across the transportation sector have begun to push back on the federal vaccine mandate, reports Bloomberg.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) questioned the plan to require companies with more than 100 employees to mandate Covid-19 vaccines.

In a letter to members, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear noted the mandate, which was sent to the White House for review yesterday, contained “obvious problems and potentially dire consequences” and“threaten(s) to cause further disruptions throughout the supply chain.”

The letter states that a small portion of the trucking industry has more than 100 employees. “If these mandates are designed to actually better protect all Americans, how are employee lives at a smaller employer less important,” Spear asks.

He also says drivers spend most of their workdays isolated in a truck cab – “literally one of the safest places possible during a pandemic” – and that testing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers who move across the country every day is a virtual impossibility.

“We are working to ensure the ultimate rule, if and when it issues, takes into account the vital work that ATA members do every day in delivering life-saving Covid vaccines, medical supplies, and the necessities of life,” Spear said.

Meanwhile, pilots at Southwest Airlines Co. and American Airlines Group Inc. objected this week to mandates those carriers announced. The construction industry also joined trucking and air in raising concerns.

OSHA is still working through its rulemaking, but the Biden administration is pushing companies to act now. It has urged airlines to mandate vaccines by Dec. 8 before a rulemaking has been published, the lawmakers say. That’s the same deadline federal contractors must meet to have their employees vaccinated.

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