As vaccine mandates loom for public and private sector workers across the country, many unions are gearing up for what promises to be a critical battle with city officials over policies that would force their members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The union representing police officers in Baltimore is taking a clever approach to protecting the personal autonomy of its members that any American feeling the heat of vaccine mandates can learn from.
The Fraternal Order of Police has told officers to keep their cards close to their chest as the union negotiates with the city over vaccine requirements. On Friday, FOP issued a letter to its members advising them not to disclose their vaccination status until the two parties can arrive at an agreement, WBAL-TV reported.
“We have made several attempts to talk to the city about the various, and very obvious, issues with their vague policy,” FOP president Mike Mancuso wrote, adding that the union “believes that there are multiple collective bargaining issues that surround the city’s vaccination policy. We have made multiple attempts to sit down and discuss these issues to no avail.”
“We were advised a couple of weeks ago, and again Wednesday, that the city would provide us with answers to our questions,” he continued. “We were then pushed to yesterday morning (Thursday, Oct. 14) when we received an invite to discuss the vaccination policy next week on Oct. 21. Yes, that’s three days after their policy is scheduled to go into effect.”
In the meantime, FOP urged its members to stand firm — and keep their vaccination status to themselves.
“It is understandable that our members have questions about a policy with so little information being provided by the city,” Mancuso noted.
“Until the city responds to our right to bargain these issues, or the courts intervene, I suggest you do nothing in regard to revealing your vaccination status as it is outlined in the city’s policy.”
The city policy requiring police to get vaccinated goes into effect on Monday. According to a representative of the Baltimore Police Department, 64 percent of the force has received at least one shot.
Should police officers be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
This comes as FOP members in the Chicago Police Department take a defiant stand against their city’s mandate despite threats from Mayor Lori Lightfoot to put any officers who refuse to comply on unpaid leave.
Considering that Lightfoot’s city sees horrific violent crime rates and dozens of people there are shot on any given weekend, diminishing the number of officers on the street should be considered inhumane. Then again, I doubt anyone who isn’t already outraged over the broader trend of Democrats empowering criminals will notice the difference.
“The reality is, we have a profession nobody else wants to do right now,” Chicago’s FOP president John Catanzara told Fox & Friends on Friday, just hours ahead of the deadline for officers to report their vaccination status.
“They cannot get anybody to go into this police academy, but yet here she is vilifying the police yet again in a city that has over 185 expressway shootings this year alone.”
“Over 280 kids shot this year alone, and she acts like there’s nothing else going on but this COVID,” he added.
Indeed, she is.
“If you are not vaccinated, you are playing with your life, the life of your family, the life of your colleagues, and members of the public,” Lightfoot declared during a Wednesday news conference, slamming Catanzara for “doing a patent disservice” to union members by urging them to resist the mandate.
It’s almost indescribable how twisted Lightfoot’s priorities are when you consider that the people she’s trying to force into compliance are the ones cleaning up the blood-soaked streets of the city she’s supposed to be governing.
If anyone understands the value of the lives of Chicago residents, it’s the police, and if there’s anything they can be trusted to do, it’s to make decisions about their own safety.
Few people have been at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic than first responders like police officers, many of whom are still resisting vaccine mandates.
That’s because the vaccine itself isn’t the point.
The reason why millions of Americans are so fired up about these far-reaching mandates is not necessarily opposition to the vaccine (about which there are admittedly plenty of reasons to be fired up).
It’s the supposition that the government not only has the right to tell us what to inject into our bodies, but also should be privy to the private medical decisions we make for ourselves.
Workers have begun to resist vaccine mandates en masse — an extraordinarily heartening phenomenon. There is power in numbers, and all the more so in these exerted campaigns of non-compliance.
Our law enforcement officers are invaluable public servants who have already been dragged through the mud by virtue-signaling politicians who leverage support by demonizing those willing to put their lives at risk to uphold law and order.
And yet they’re still out there, day after day, working for our safety and freedom.
Now they’re taking a stand for their own personal liberty. I sincerely hope many more Americans follow their lead.
Hold. The. Line.