After Joe Biden decreed Thursday that anyone working for the U.S. government will be forced to take coronavirus vaccines, the backlash began almost immediately with the American Postal Workers Union issuing a statement of defiance.
“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 statement urges.
It adds, “Issues related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU. At this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers.”
The APWU represents more than 220,000 United States Postal Service employees, as well as thousands of mail workers in private mail services.
The union endorsed Biden for president, but is now drawling a line on vaccine mandates.
In addition to, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents more than 26,000 federal officers, slammed Biden’s mandate, saying that it believes requiring vaccinations represents an infringement on civil rights.
“There will be a lot of pushback. It’s going to be an avalanche,” President Larry Cosme said, adding that many within the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security will oppose the mandate.
The Washington Post reports that even The American Federation of Teachers, which represents nearly 200,000 health-care workers who could be affected, expressed resistance to the mandate.
“In order for everyone to feel safe and welcome in their workplaces, vaccinations must be negotiated between employers and workers, not coerced,” said the union’s president, Randi Weingarten.