Several unions representing city employees in Boston, Massachusetts, are leading the legal battle against Mayor Michelle Wu’s recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all city workers by February 2022. In several statements given to the Boston Herald, it is clear that Boston unions are not giving up the fight against the mandate.
“Tyranny is here on our doorstep and if we do not act now, in concert with ALL city workers, then we are sealing our own fate,” Boston First Responders United (BFRU) stated recently.
“People are standing up and making their voices heard. We’re standing up for one another and for workers’ rights and civil rights,” Shana Cottone, president of BFRU, told the Herald.
BFRU is reportedly working on a legal effort against the mandate.
“AFSCME Council 93 has consistently maintained that vaccinations are the safest and most effective means of getting us through this pandemic,” Executive Director Mark Bernard told the Herald in a statement. “However, we also maintain that any policy related to vaccinations as a condition of employment must be negotiated with the union.
“Currently, in the City of Boston, our members are subject to an agreement negotiated less than three months ago that allows workers, who for any number of reasons are reluctant to receive a vaccine, to choose a regular testing option,” Bernard added. “This policy is working well and is in line with the Federal Government’s policy implemented by the Department of Labor.”
As The Daily Wire recently reported, Boston city employees must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus with two doses by February 15, 2022, or lose their jobs. Currently, Boston’s 18,000 city employees have the option of undergoing weekly testing or receiving the coronavirus jab in order to keep working.
On the day that Wu announced the city’s mandate, dozens of protesters crowded city hall and sang the national anthem in protest.
The Daily Wire previously reported that Wu implied these protests were in part motivated by hatred, fear, and confusion:
“I’ve grown up my whole life knowing what it feels like to feel invisible or othered, and this is an experience that far too many Americans share,” Wu told GBH. “Standing at the podium, hearing the demonstrators who were opposing our policies singing patriotic songs and chanting ‘USA’ — the message was clear that we don’t belong here in their eyes, and shouldn’t be trying to take away something that they perceive they have and are losing.”
“There is still a part of our society, even in this state, even in this city, that really feels like something is being taken away from them,” Wu also said. “That is based in misinformation, it’s based in, I think at some level, hatred, and fear and confusion.”
Boston is one of several major cities to recently enact a new vaccine mandate for city employees.