Yesterday, a broad coalition of public safety unions, including IBEW Local 1245, issued a scathing letter in opposition to proposed legislation that would enact a statewide COVID vaccine mandate as a condition of employment for all workers in the state.
In the letter, the unions explained how this bill would gut workers’ rights by overriding previously bargained agreements around the COVID vaccine, and would circumnavigate the union’s process of meeting and conferring with management over any new condition of employment.
“These negotiations are part of the core of organized labor, and to summarily remove these bargained policies with a blanket mandate sets a dangerous and demoralizing precedent. With a broad reach to every public and private employer throughout the state, this measure has the potential to allow any employee to face discipline and even termination after having previously come to some solution with their employer.”
Our voices were heard, and within hours of receiving that letter, the bill’s author, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, announced that she would not be moving forward with the legislation (AB 1993). She specifically cited the union opposition when asked why she decided to pull the bill.
“We are pleased to see that Assemblymember Wicks has taken our letter to heart, and she clearly understands and respects our major concerns with the bill,” said IBEW 1245 Business Manager Bob Dean. “Acting quickly and decisively when presented with new information is the mark of a true leader. We’ve always had a positive relationship with Assemblymember Wicks, and we look forward to working together with her on pro-worker legislation in the future.”
“Since the start, we have held fast to the principle that vaccine mandates violate workers’ rights, and this is the latest in a string of victories we’ve had in combatting these proposed mandates at nearly every turn,” Dean continued. “In these instances, it’s plain to see why IBEW 1245 has and will continue to make legislative and political advocacy a priority. When our voice is loud and clear in the places where decisions are being made, we can make a real difference for our members, and for all workers.”