A trade association representing all of the major cargo companies in the United States is warning that if Joe Biden actively purses more vaccine mandates, it could further disrupt an already-weakened supply chain, according to Politico.
Stephen Alterman, president of the Cargo Airline Association (CAA) sent a letter to the Biden Administration expressing concern over an upcoming December 8th deadline.
“We have significant concerns with the employer mandates announced on September 9th, 2021,” Alterman said, “and the ability of industry members to implement the required employee vaccinations by December 8th, 2021.”
Alterman’s letter, which was formally sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested that Biden delay the vaccination deadline further to “the first half of 2022.” Alterman noted that by setting the deadline for just before the Christmas holiday, “the looming December 8th mandate for having fully vaccinated workforces creates a significant supply chain problem.” Companies that are already struggling with worker shortages could see even more mass resignations in protest of such strict requirements.
Alterman also pointed out that the companies represented by the CAA, including FedEx, UPS, Atlas Air, and DHL Express, are not only responsible for the transportation of goods such as presents for the holiday season, but also important medical supplies that are needed to continue fighting the pandemic.
“This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that we are already experiencing a worker shortage, both in the air and on the ground,” the letter continued, “and any loss of employees who refuse to be vaccinated will adversely impact needed operations.”
Although several companies expressed a desire at the executive levels to implement Biden’s orders, protests and strikes by workers and their unions have led to prolonged legal battles as companies struggle to implement their own rules in a manner that satisfies their employees. This has ultimately led to many of them determining that it will be impossible for them to get such vaccine requirements in place by Biden’s arbitrary deadline.
This development represents two new headaches for the Biden Administration, thwarting his vaccine mandate plans that he has long touted as key to defeating the Chinese coronavirus, and further exacerbating the supply chain woes that have plagued the second half of his first year in office. A number of factors have contributed to the shortage of workers in the cargo and transportation industries, including extended unemployment benefits as a result of his coronavirus stimulus bill, as well as strict requirements on vaccines, masks, and other measures that have driven many workers out of the workforce altogether. Rising demand among consumers for goods and services, combined with the subsequent shortage of workers, has caused prices to skyrocket before the holiday season.