All people are equal before “the scienceTM“, but some unions are more equal.
We previously noted that in an unspoken footnote to Biden’s bombastic “no jab, no job” speech, various labor unions had quietly (and not so quietly) voiced their displeasure to the now official mandatory vaccinations including NYC teachers, California’s largest public sector union and of course, the US Postal Service. And now we know that while Biden was eager to frame his new vaxx policy as all inclusive and with no exception, that was not really true.
According to the Washington Post citing a “White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss not-yet-public portions of the president’s plan”, U.S. Postal Service workers were not included in Biden’s executive order requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
While Biden framed his mandate as one covering all federal workers and all companies with more than 100 staff, he forgot to mention that any labor union that is instrumental in keeping the Democrats in power would be granted a very “unscientific” exemption. The loophole in question, according to the report, according to the White House source, is that the “USPS has a separate statutory scheme and is traditionally independent of federal personnel actions like this” even though postal workers would be strongly encouraged to comply with the mandate. Paradoxically, the WaPo also notes that this “explainer” is in conflict with reality: after all, the Postal Service is an independent agency of the executive branch, and it is required to be specifically included in executive orders that apply to working conditions for federal employees.
In any case, we doubt “strong encouragement” will be sufficient to get most postal workers jabbed since the reason they refuse to get vaccinated in the first place is lack of trust in the government, the same reason tens of millions of Americans also refuse to get jabbed. But since they don’t represent one of the most politically powerful unions in the US, they don’t get to be “strongly encouraged” and instead are told what to do.
What is even more bizarre is that according to the WaPo, the 644,000 strong USPS workfore, which represents a massive chunk of the federal workforce, interacts daily with an equally large swath of the public. As such if Biden was really worried about super spreaders, he would vaccinate postal workers first. The fact that he won’t suggests that other things are at play here besides “the scienceTM”
So how did over 600,000 Federal workers get a carveout? Simple: unions > science.
One of the Postal Service’s powerful unions, the American Postal Workers Union, in July criticized the administration’s efforts to require federal workers to be vaccinated and demanded that postal leadership collectively bargain on the issue.
“While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent,” the union said in a statement.
As for why the increasingly unpopular – in the words of the NYT – Biden will go to such great lengths to discredit his own stated intent and further dilute people’s faith in the executive branch, the answer is simple: we are just over a year away from the next mail in elections and the Democrats can not take any chances.
Curiously, shortly after the WaPo original reported about the USPS exemption, someone woke up Joe from his nap or got in touch with whoever really runs the country, and advised them that the natives may get restless at this glorious hypocrisy, and so a “senior Biden admin” told Yahoo that “U.S. Postal Service workers are subject to a rule to be developed by the Labor Department mandating coronavirus vaccinations for workers and weekly testing for non-vaccinated employees at companies with over 100 workers, a senior Biden administration official told CNN and the Washington Post.”
In other words, for the purposes of keeping the labor union happy, USPS workers – which comprise the largest group of Federal employees – will be treated as, get this, private sector employees for legal purposes. This means they will be covered under the OSHA vaccine/testing mandate – and thus not face the “no jab, no job” dilemma – rather than the federal employee mandatory vaccination order.
Finally, just in case WaPo’s Jacob Bogage gets a tap on the shoulder and is told to quietly delete what will spark even more confusion and chaos in the administration, here is a snapshot of their original report.