In this installment of our weekly Sunday Six conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative name six companies that continue to mandate COVID vaccines for employees despite the Supreme Court ruling on January 13th which put a commonsensical ending to the Biden Administration’s ridiculous policy.
#6: United Airlines
Parker: You and I each write about a major airline that is mandating the jab for its employees. Indeed, many adopted some of the earliest requirements of any large industry. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, United Airlines insists on maintaining its vaccine mandate policy because, as its CEO said last week, it saves lives. Citing evidence that the company lost one person per week to Covid before implementing the freedom-crushing move. Apparently not a single one has died since then. I guess we just have to take his word on it.
It is certainly curious how these conversations are limited in scope. Did he say what types of employees were dying? Did he think Omicron still posed a threat? Did he ever feel the need to outlaw diabetes or obesity from his workforce? Does he intend to mandate indefinite boosters? Does he know how many staff have been grounded permanently due to vaccine side effects? As always, the Covidian religion only focuses on the single issue of vaccination or not.
In what has the appearance of industry collusion, it is interesting how every major airline moved to compel vaccination. What if a freedom-loving and scientifically-literate carrier had not? Would employees from competing airlines have flocked there? Would passengers likewise support the personal liberty valued by an employer? I like to think so. This also brings up a disappointing aspect of the entire vaccine mandate theater. Airline pilots are one of the most consequential and powerful employee blocs in the world. They require years of training, biannual medical and professional check ups, and aren’t easily replaced by scabs. It is too bad they did not rally around truth and freedom to ground entire fleets until they were allowed to make private medical decisions for themselves. Were they scared to speak up? Were they supportive of the Covid narrative? It is too late now, but as intermittent groundings showed us over the past holiday season, it doesn’t take much to bring air travel to a halt. This would have been a great thing.
PF: It’s not a coincidence that several of the companies we’re discussing today have also been listed in our ongoing series of Woke Companies To Avoid. Carhartt is one such company, having appeared at #43 on the list we published this past Friday. Organizations that embrace LGBTQ insanity and the anti-American ideology of Black Lives Matter also tend to have little regard for individual freedoms.
Carhartt’s decisions to both go full-woke and to demand all employees be vaccinated is a head-scratcher for me. I don’t get it. They produce heavy-duty, working apparel, the kind one might find on a construction site or an oil rig. Yet they also produce an LGBTQ-specific line of clothing called Carhartt Queer, they are all-in on their support of BLM, and now they take this tact by not backing off of their vax mandates. It seems insane to me to take an approach so obviously contradictory to traditional, blue-collar values, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.
What Carhartt’s refusal to back off their vax mandate tells me is that they’re fully committed to their leftist ideals. They’re on the left, they’re unapologetic, and if you don’t like it then don’t buy their clothes and find someplace else to work. If Biden and the Democrats are in favor of it, then so is Carhartt, no matter how idiotic it might be. And demanding that employees be vaxxed in the middle of a major labor shortage when there is no question that the vaxxed can just as easily transmit COVID as the non-vaxxed is certainly that: idiotic.
Parker: In another sector we both highlight, financial megalith CitiGroup had already imposed and obtained mandatory vaccination to the alleged tune of 99%. I could be way off on the numbers, but according to Wikipedia the New York-based corporation has over 200,000 employees. That’s a lot of juice!
There is something truly frightening about how all of these mandates are communicated and perceived. Listen to Sara Wechter, the head of Citi’s HR department:
“Going into the last day [of the mandate deadline], we expect the number of employees who have not complied will decrease even further. Our goal has always been to keep everyone at Citi, and we sincerely hope all of our colleagues take action to comply.”
Did you catch that? They wanted to keep everyone at Citi – that’s great news! And how do they achieve that? By hoping their employees submit to a decision they neither want nor need to make. We hope you love working here: Now comply, damnit.
As every company states, these measures are demanded of the subordinate class in order to ensure workplace safety. How that safety is achieved is never addressed, considering the vaccines neither prevent infection nor transmission, nor is an explanation given as to why heretofore medical decisions were not raised by HR. It’s physically unhealthy to be fat, and yet we are accused of fat shaming for bringing it up. It’s mentally unhealthy to struggle with gender identity, and yet we would be thrown in the Gulags for daring to question the dominant social narrative around transgenderism. The idea of “safety” is a pure lie. There is certainly nothing safe about demanding an employee lose their job over the jab and risk being able to provide for themselves or their family. This is all grotesque and evil.
#3: American Airlines
PF: American Airlines is another one that we honored as a Woke Company To Avoid, coming in at #19 last month. American wasn’t alone in their original approach to vax mandates, as several other companies used the same strategy and chose to hide behind the Federal Government’s original edict as justification. Airlines including Southwest and United required their employees to be vaxxed, at least initially, and shrugged their shoulders at any pushback saying essentially, “Uncle Joe told us to.” But American has taken their mandate madness to a new level.
After the SCOTUS ruling, a spokesperson for American stated it, “doesn’t change anything for American because we are subject to the federal contractor mandate, not the OSHA rule, which is what the Supreme Court blocked.” It turns out however, that American’s deflection is BS. According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday, “the courts had stayed, or frozen, the mandates for federal contractors.” Most of the other airlines have remained silent on the issue, but American couldn’t help themselves, and now they’re exposed.
American Airlines is a private company, and they can issue a multitude of employment requirements. Their relationships with their employees are, by definition, consensual. American consents to pay employees “X” salaries/wages, and employees consent to perform “Y” job responsibilities for those wages. But American should at least have the balls to stand behind their decisions instead of blaming the government. And if they’re willing to be so dishonest about a matter such as vax mandates, we have to wonder: What else are they being dishonest about?
#2: The NBA
Parker: You know the vaccine mandates aren’t about health or safety when exemptions can be made for the elite. In the case of the NBA, this bifurcation could not be more clearly delineated. Somehow, despite being naked and sweaty for hours every day, traveling in airports, on planes, in hotels, at strip clubs, and doing goodness knows what else, the players themselves are and have been exempted from an actual vaccine mandate since last summer, when the league announced anyone else who would be in contact with players must have one. Or else.
Does this make sense? The league was mandating vaccines for anyone that comes in contact with players in order to protect the players, but then not mandating those same vaccines for the players themselves? Did I miss something? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go right to the source…ah whatever, it doesn’t make sense to make sense of Covid at this point. It just gives people a headache.
The Kyrie Irving situation took a lot of wind out of the conversation, but that was only ever about his playing in freedom-deprived New York City. His employer, the NBA, never demanded that players submit to the jab. More recently, and despite everything we know about the ineffectiveness of a vaccine a this point in terms of both infection and transmission (you know, the two big things a vaccine should address), the league has rolled out new testing requirements. Even though everyone can transmit the disease, only the unvaccinated or unboosted have to play kabuki theater with nasal f******. Why do the vaccinated not have to, when we know they are just as likely to transmit and are likely more susceptible to Omicron, than their untainted peers? All good questions. Unfortunately, there is a short supply of good answers these days.
I would boycott the NBA over this if I hadn’t already left them years ago for sloppy gameplay and wokester BLM garbage. Seriously, how does anyone stand this anymore? Another good question which is missing a convincing answer, am I right?
#1: Wells Fargo
PF: Wells Fargo may not have made our Woke Companies To Avoid list yet, but (spoiler alert) they may very well find themselves with that distinction in the near future. WF is a large company, with almost 250,000 employees and over $164 billion in market cap, so we can assume this decision wasn’t taken lightly. But WF was one of the first companies to issue their original vax mandate and they haven’t backed down, even after the SCOTUS decision.
Immediately following the SCOTUS announcement, Wells Fargo explained they, “Will continue our testing program. We believe it is the right thing to do for the safety of all employees and our customers.” Note how they merely called it a “testing program.” The program to which they alluded closely mirrors the original OSHA mandate, strongly recommending employees get vaxxed and requiring regular testing for those who don’t.
It strikes me that companies like Wells Fargo that depend so heavily on customer satisfaction to maintain their revenue base would prioritize employee retention. Good employees are necessary for strong customer service. And with an unprecedented sellers’ market when it comes to labor, it would clearly behoove WF to show some flexibility with those employees. It’ll be interesting to see if such indifference to employees’ self-determination regarding health decisions comes back to bite these companies. If I was a betting man, I’d wager that is exactly what happens.