One of the Left's Biggest Unions is Fighting Vaccine Mandates

Despite the massive propaganda campaign by Democrats, from Biden on down, to their media, vaccine opposition is actually highest among minorities, not Republicans, especially black people. As hospitals and health care facilities impose mandatory vaccination protocols, they're on a collision course with black health care workers.

And their powerful SEIU union.

SEIU is infamous for its radicalism and its power. Its members are a mainstay of Democrat and lefty organizing in major urban areas. If you want to understand why Democrats are treading carefully when it comes to vaccine mandates and passports, SEIU is a good place to start.

The union has been very clear from the start that it opposes vaccine mandates, but it's been quiet about it. It's now becoming less quiet with SEIU 1199 in New York launching a public campaign.



• Healthcare workers have the right to make personal health decisions.

• Vaccine mandates disregard deep-seated fears instilled by our country’s history of non-consensual medical testing and mistreatment of racial and ethnic minority groups.

• Enhanced COVID-19 testing and continued masking for healthcare workers who choose not to be vaccinated provides adequate protection for patients and employees.

And a rally this week outside Presbyterian Hospital. That rally might escalate to a strike.

In mid-June, New York-Presbyterian Hospital announced a vaccine mandate for its employees.

The 1199SEIU president, George Gresham, threatened a lawsuit and possibly even a strike in response.

“Whether there is a legal challenge that we can make, or whether it's just a pure organizational challenge that we can make, we are not going to just give in,” Gresham told WNYC/Gothamist.

1199SEIU is the largest local branch of the national Service Employees International Union.

A number of other SEIU branches have also come out against vaccine mandates. And an even bigger explosion is brewing in San Francisco.

San Francisco’s employee unions snapped back against an order that city workers receive a coronavirus vaccination on penalty of firing, calling for a more collaborative approach, while an advocacy group warned that Black workers could be disciplined more often than others under the mandate.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 20,000 San Francisco employees, called the policy a “threatening mandate” Thursday. SEIU and other unions said the city would have to negotiate it with unions rather than imposing it unilaterally.

The responses came a day after city officials announced that all 35,000 city employees would need to be vaccinated once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves a vaccine. The city said medical and religious exemptions would be allowed, but that employees who refused vaccinations without obtaining an exemption would be subject to discipline including firing.

Any such change in work rules is subject to collective bargaining, said the unions and the advocacy group Black Employees Alliance and Coalition Against Anti-Blackness, which called the city’s policy insensitive to Black workers.

The clock on full FDA approval is ticking. Once that kicks in, municipal and medical unions that represent large numbers of black workers are going to either go on strike or get exemptions. Will city governments and hospital bosses blink? Almost certainly. 

1. Major strikes would be politically and economically devastating

2. Unions like SEIU call the shots on everything because they finance and organize for Dems. Taking them on is unlikely.

3. The whole battle playing out in public would tank the central narrative that Dems are relying on, which blames "unvaccinated Republicans" for new shutdowns. The Big Lie wouldn't work so well with thousands of black nurses and orderlies protesting in the streets.

The Dem machines will try to find ways to have their cake and eat it too. If minorities could be pushed to the head of the vaccine line in the name of equity, they could also be exempted in the name of equity. Of course that would suddenly make lawsuits by white employees against vaccine mandates surprisingly winnable. But not until we've been lectured at length about Tuskegee and how the CIA created HIV by the media.

Democrats have avoided discussing vaccine mandates for teachers because that would be even more of a non-starter considering that the AFT had rallied against flu vaccine mandates a decade ago.

The AFT is pleased that Gov. David A. Paterson rightly reassessed a health regulation that would have forced hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers in New York to be vaccinated against the seasonal and H1N1 flu, or risk being disciplined or fired by their employer. We also applaud the health professionals—members of our affiliates, the New York State United Teachers, United University Professions and the New York State Public Employees Federation—who took the New York Health Department to task through their lawsuits to halt this illegal and ill-conceived mandate.

As the real explosion over vaccine mandates builds, Biden and the media keep blaming FOX News and Facebook. The Big Lie must go on.


Wondering what happened to your Disqus comments?

Read the Story