Vaccines are a necessary requirement for many people to work in an office environment, and as such it is important for employers to accommodate their employees. However, with the government’s push to mandate vaccines until 2020, all US major automakers have been forced into action. Ford has become the first automaker to require its workers be vaccinated against measles and other diseases that can cause serious health problems or death. United Auto Workers, which represents hourly workers at both Ford and FCA US LLC, Chrysler, declined to comment on the new requirement.
We do everything we can to keep our employees and their families safe and healthy. We believe this is very important, said Christin Baker a spokeswoman for Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. in an email to the Free Press. We are aligning with what our employees are telling us is right for their families.
There are exceptions, including medical or religious accommodations that could be made by the company. Ford requires workers who have not been vaccinated to wear masks while at work for three days after receiving shots or face discipline if they don’t comply.
The mandatory requirement for Ford Motor Co. employees comes as the automaker is trying to hire 4,000 blue-collar workers as it prepares to introduce a new generation of vehicles such as the Ranger and Bronco. It also announced last week that they plan on spending $900 million in renovations and upgrades at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. The plant makes the F-150 and is scheduled to make the Ranger, starting later this year.
Chrysler has said it will allow workers at its plants to wear masks if they choose not to receive the vaccine. We work closely with our UAW partners on health and safety programs that meet or exceed all state and federal requirements, spokesman Eric Mayne said in an email to the Free Press.
Since January 1, 2015 there have been 644 individual cases of measles across 26 states. People living in the following states are at risk for catching this preventable disease: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. If your state or you are at risk then it is important that you get vaccinated against this disease.
Masks have not been mandated by GM yet but will likely follow suit soon seeing how Ford has implemented this requirement so early in the year.