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NYC Prisons Face Crippling Staff Shortages As Thousands Defy Mayor"s Vaccination Mandate

NYC Prisons Face Crippling Staff Shortages As Thousands Defy Mayor's Vaccination Mandate Outgoing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been widely criticized for seeming and acting out of touch with New Yorkers. And during his final weeks in Gracie Mansion, the intensely unpopular Democratic candidate may unwittingly handicap the already struggling NYC jail Riker's Island. To wit, the AP reports that hundreds of city department of corrections' workers might soon be fired after missing a Tuesday deadline to either get vaccinated or see their waiver approved. The city's DoC reported 77% of its staff had gotten at least one vaccine dose as of 1700ET on Monday. That's the lowest rate of any city agency, meaning about 1,900 employees have yet to comply with the mandate or apply for the waiver. The deadline for compliance was delayed a month for jail workers because of existing staffing shortages. Jail workers who have applied for religious or medical exemptions can continue to work while their cases are reviewed, officials said. They plan to release data on Wednesday detailing how many workers sought for an exemption. But they already know that the number who have obstinately refused to do either is unsustainably high. Those who don't comply are supposed to be placed on unpaid leave and asked to surrender any badges or city-issued firearms (or other equipment). What is the mayor doing about this? Well, in anticipation of the looming mandate, Mayor de Blasio on Monday issued an emergency executive order designed to beef up jail staffing by authorizing a transition to 12 hour from 8 hour shifts. Faced with a revolt over vaccine mandates, the mayor is asking remaining workers to take on more hours in a poorly paid, highly dangerous job. The workers and their union representatives are unsurprisingly pushing back: The president of the union for jail guards balked at de Blasio's decision to move to 12-hour shifts, calling it "reckless and misguided." The union said it would sue to block the mandate, the same tactic an NYC police union tried in late October as the vaccine requirement for officers neared. The police union lost and the mandate went into effect as planned. To be sure, Benny Boscio Jr., the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, told the AP that staffing in the city’s jails is as bad or worse than it was in October, when the mayor announced jail workers would have extra time to meet the vaccine mandate. Resignations and retirements are already piling up, Boscio warned. Asking more able-bodied workers to go on unpaid leave would be like "pouring gasoline on a fire", Boscio said. "To move forward with placing what little staff we do have on leave tomorrow would be like pouring gasoline on a fire, which will have a catastrophic impact on the safety of our officers and the thousands of inmates in our custody," Boscio said Tuesday. NYC's jails, which includes the notorious Rikers Island complex, have been plagued by surging violence, self-harm and deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 14 deaths have been recorded in NYC's jails so far this year, the highest number since 2013. But de Blasio doesn't seem to care; he's preoccupied with adopting a new plan that would ban horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric cars. And on Monday he imposed a new vaccination mandate on child-care workers in the city. You almost couldn't make this up. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 18:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 1st, 2021

Greenwald: Corbyn Leads British Left In Opposition To Vaccine Mandates As Anti-Worker And Repressive

Greenwald: Corbyn Leads British Left In Opposition To Vaccine Mandates As Anti-Worker And Repressive Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com, The shorthand label “anti-vax” once had a clear and concise meaning: namely, those who reject the prevailing western scientific orthodoxy that vaccines are a safe and effective means of protecting humans against infectious diseases by training the immune system to combat a pathogen in advance. As vaccines become more prevalent against an increasingly wide range of diseases — measles, mumps, polio, chickenpox — a dissenting political and scientific movement has emerged which rejects the scientific premises of vaccines and attempts to persuade others not to vaccinate themselves or their children on the ground that they are ineffective, dangerous and/or motivated by corporate profit rather than legitimate concerns about public health. Former UK Labour Party Leader and current independent MP Jeremy Corbyn argues against vaccine mandates for health care workers and vaccine passports for all citizens, Dec. 13, 2021 But exactly as we have seen with so many other political labels — terrorist, racist, fascist, white nationalist, anti-Semite — this once-descriptive, precise and useful phrase has metamorphized far beyond its original meaning into something barely recognizable or cogent. That transformation has been deliberate, with a clear motive: to weaponize the term into a potent political insult designed to compel submission to decrees from institutions of authority and stigmatize dissenters, threatening them with reputation destruction. The rapid expansion of the term “anti-vax” into a coercive political weapon has been years in the making, but the COVID pandemic was the steroid it needed to blossom into one of the most reputation-crippling labels one can affix to a political target. Just as is true of accusing people of being terrorists, white nationalists, fascists or anti-Semites not because one espouses views traditionally designated by those terms but as punishment for any sort of dissent, the destructive power of the COVID iteration of “anti-vax” resides precisely in its vagueness, its lack of precise contours, its emptiness and meaninglessness. A term that means nothing can, by definition and by design, encompass anyone and everyone depending solely on the needs of the moment. The utter obliteration of any coherent definition is evidenced by the fact that one can now be labelled “anti-vax” even though one a) believes in the foundational science of vaccines, b) is themselves vaccinated for COVID and makes the decision that one's children will be as well, and c) states publicly that they have chosen to be vaccinated. How is it possible to pull off such a seemingly inane and internally contradictory attack: namely, malign people who have taken the vaccine and publicized their choice to do so as “anti-vax"? This is accomplished by twisting and distorting the term “anti-vax” away from its scientific meaning (“one who rejects the efficacy of vaccines”) into a term of political disobedience. Thus, the operational definition of the term has become: one who questions any of the decrees of public health authorities on any matters or who believes that adult citizens should retain the choice to decide for themselves whether to be vaccinated. In other words, the term “anti-vax” now means nothing other than: one who questions any policies adopted by state officials in the name of fighting COVID. Unfortunately for the liberal-left which has constructed this manipulative and coercive framework, this now requires that the term “anti-vax” be applied to one of the international left's most beloved political figures: former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. They must also now apply this term of shame to the most admired left-wing members of the British Parliament along with leading trade unions in the UK. That is because the British Left — not just Corbyn and leftist MPs but also leading labor unions — have united to emphatically oppose vaccine mandates and vaccines passports on the ground that 1) it is immoral and profoundly anti-worker to fire health care front-line workers and other workers for refusing a vaccine they have not been convinced is safe and effective, and 2) persuasion is a far more effective and ethical means of administering public health policy than coercion, dictate and punishment. On Tuesday night, the UK Parliament approved a proposal by conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson to require proof of COVID vaccines — a COVID passport — to enter any venues with large crowds such as nightclubs and stadiums. The vote was 369 to 126. But the opposition was composed of a mix of populist right-wing Tories and the anti-establishment left-wing members of Labour and other leftist parties. Close to one hundred conservatives, and more than 20 leftist Labour members (along with Corbyn, now technically an “independent” after being expelled by his successor, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer), voted against Johnson's vaccine passport law. Vote breakdown in UK Parliament on vote to require proof of vaccines to enter large venues, Dec. 15, 2021 A similar vote, and similar breakdown, emerged on a separate bill from Prime Minister Johnson to require workers of the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to be vaccinated or be fired. The vote in favor of that vaccine mandate bill was 385-100. Conservative opposition to these two bills was — despite being advocated by the Tory Prime Minister — unsurprising. Their rationale was similar to right-wing opposition to such COVID-era coercive measures around the democratic world. Tory opponents depicted such mandates as an infringement of individual liberty as well as unnecessary, in light of the UK's vaccination rates for all adults, which exceeds 70%, and is at least on par with most other western European countries. But what is particularly notable — and most definitely out of the ordinary when it comes to Western politics — is the steadfast opposition to vaccine mandates and passports from the British left. Labour unions have adamantly denounced the threat of termination for employees who refuse the vaccine as “anti-worker” and a violation of the autonomy of workers. They have argued that it is particularly cruel to threaten health care workers — the same people the world has been applauding for their brave work on the front-line of the pandemic — with loss of their job for their belief that vaccination is not the right choice for them and their family. In October, for instance, the BDA Trade Union announced what it called “a clear and definitive position in opposition to any attempts to make the take-up of the vaccination mandatory.” While the union encouraged its members to be vaccinated, they argued that firing employees who refused would be illegal: “Mandatory vaccination could potentially discriminate against staff with protected characteristics as contained in the Equality Act 2010” based on race, age, disability, sex and religious belief. The British trade union UNITE, which represents more than 100,000 health care workers, has similarly and repeatedly opposed such mandates, with its leader saying in October: "Unite strongly opposes forcing any health and social care workers to have a vaccine or risk sacrificing their job. Encouragement, not compulsion, is the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the very good reason that such an approach is shown to work." Corbyn has spent weeks echoing the views of labour unions. On Tuesday afternoon, the leftist icon announced his opposition to both vaccine mandate and passport bills: Tonight I will oppose both compulsory vaccines for NHS staff, and the introduction of vaccine passports. Both measures are counterproductive and will create division when we need cooperation and unity. — Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) December 14, 2021 In an interview he gave on Monday to LBC, the radio call-in network, Corbyn was adamant that mandating vaccines was a completely unjustified intrusion into the right of individuals to decide for themselves what to do with their own bodies. Citing the sacred right of bodily autonomy, he added that other, less intrusive measures — such as requiring testing for entrance to nursing homes and other places where “vulnerable populations” were found — was a far more reasonable and balanced approach to COVID: Other prominent British leftists have been similarly steadfast about the injustice of vaccine mandates and passports. The Corbyn-supporting MP Zarah Sultana, who represents the Coventry South constituency in Parliament, published a lengthy statement on Tuesday saying she "shares concerns by human rights organizations such as Liberty on COVID passes, with fears that they are ineffective and will lead to to the further marginalization of minority groups.” MP Sultana also cited the opposition of British trade unions to such mandates, arguing that they “will be counterproductive, entrenching vaccine hesitancy, and may worsen staff shortages” (despite this ringing opposition, Sultana apparently lacked the courage to defy party leadership as she failed to vote on the bill to require passports). But perhaps the most stirring opposition was expressed by left-wing MP Rachael Maskell, a former shadow minister under Corbyn and also a former health-care worker and trade unionist. On the floor of Parliament, Maskell stood to note the dark irony that the same health care workers who were heralded as essential heroes were now under threat of termination for failure to obey a vaccine mandate, and emphasized what had been a long-standing left-wing value: bodily autonomy. Is the U.S. liberal-left now going to disparage Corbyn, trade unions and left-wing members of the Labour Party as being “anti-vax” and “anti-science" and recklessly risking lives? Are they going to claim that these leftist stalwarts, speaking for workers, are somehow placing extremist libertarian values of individual rights over public health and the collective good? Will they say that these left-wing “anti-vaxxers” have blood on their hands because they refuse to force people upon pain of losing their jobs in a pandemic to take a vaccine into their body that they do not believe is safe or effective rather than attempting to persuade them that it is? This defiant and courageous stance on principle by Corbyn, labour unions and the British left highlights the obscenity of labelling anyone who dissents from or questions endless attempts to further empower the state as “anti-vaxxers.” But it also highlights one of the hidden truths about vaccine hesitancy: namely, who composes the "vaccine hesitant” and what their motives are. As we have repeatedly covered here, a false narrative was manufactured from the start: namely, that the only people doubting the vaccine were right-wing Trump supporters, which enabled condescending employees of media corporations to malign anyone who sees the world differently than they do as primitive, deplorable racists. The truth, from the start, was far more complex: many of those who were in doubt about the vaccine were not only Trumpian "white nationalists" but disproportionately brown and black people, along with a higher percentage of Republicans. Indeed, many of the most outspoken celebrities in culture and sports expressing vaccine hesitancy were Black. That is why vaccine mandates for workers with a punishment of firing for noncompliance can lead to racist outcomes, as these British trade unionists noted: because such punishment will fall disproportionately on black and brown workers. And labor unions representing health care workers and workers in other sectors around the world — in the U.S., in Europe, and on other continents including Africa — were vehemently opposed from the start to the liberal demand (now joined in the UK by the politically desperate Tory Government) that workers be fired for refusing to be vaccinated. Now that one of the world's most admired leftist icons, Jeremy Corbyn, has not only spoken out but voted against vaccine mandates for health care workers and vaccine passports for the citizenry — joined by labor unions and other leading British leftists — this sham narrative will be harder to maintain. Will the liberal-left now shift to applying to their own leaders one of the most shameful and reputation-crippling titles that can now be bestowed in left-liberal circles: anti-vaxxers? Or will the British Left's principled stance finally force the recognition that long-standing left-wing values of bodily autonomy and anti-authoritarianism are often the grounds for the view that it is long past time to keep increasing the power of the state over our lives and bodies in the name of stopping a disease that will almost certainly be with us into the indefinite future? To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please subscribe, obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article Tyler Durden Thu, 12/16/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

NYC Prisons Face Crippling Staff Shortages As Thousands Defy Mayor"s Vaccination Mandate

NYC Prisons Face Crippling Staff Shortages As Thousands Defy Mayor's Vaccination Mandate Outgoing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been widely criticized for seeming and acting out of touch with New Yorkers. And during his final weeks in Gracie Mansion, the intensely unpopular Democratic candidate may unwittingly handicap the already struggling NYC jail Riker's Island. To wit, the AP reports that hundreds of city department of corrections' workers might soon be fired after missing a Tuesday deadline to either get vaccinated or see their waiver approved. The city's DoC reported 77% of its staff had gotten at least one vaccine dose as of 1700ET on Monday. That's the lowest rate of any city agency, meaning about 1,900 employees have yet to comply with the mandate or apply for the waiver. The deadline for compliance was delayed a month for jail workers because of existing staffing shortages. Jail workers who have applied for religious or medical exemptions can continue to work while their cases are reviewed, officials said. They plan to release data on Wednesday detailing how many workers sought for an exemption. But they already know that the number who have obstinately refused to do either is unsustainably high. Those who don't comply are supposed to be placed on unpaid leave and asked to surrender any badges or city-issued firearms (or other equipment). What is the mayor doing about this? Well, in anticipation of the looming mandate, Mayor de Blasio on Monday issued an emergency executive order designed to beef up jail staffing by authorizing a transition to 12 hour from 8 hour shifts. Faced with a revolt over vaccine mandates, the mayor is asking remaining workers to take on more hours in a poorly paid, highly dangerous job. The workers and their union representatives are unsurprisingly pushing back: The president of the union for jail guards balked at de Blasio's decision to move to 12-hour shifts, calling it "reckless and misguided." The union said it would sue to block the mandate, the same tactic an NYC police union tried in late October as the vaccine requirement for officers neared. The police union lost and the mandate went into effect as planned. To be sure, Benny Boscio Jr., the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, told the AP that staffing in the city’s jails is as bad or worse than it was in October, when the mayor announced jail workers would have extra time to meet the vaccine mandate. Resignations and retirements are already piling up, Boscio warned. Asking more able-bodied workers to go on unpaid leave would be like "pouring gasoline on a fire", Boscio said. "To move forward with placing what little staff we do have on leave tomorrow would be like pouring gasoline on a fire, which will have a catastrophic impact on the safety of our officers and the thousands of inmates in our custody," Boscio said Tuesday. NYC's jails, which includes the notorious Rikers Island complex, have been plagued by surging violence, self-harm and deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 14 deaths have been recorded in NYC's jails so far this year, the highest number since 2013. But de Blasio doesn't seem to care; he's preoccupied with adopting a new plan that would ban horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric cars. And on Monday he imposed a new vaccination mandate on child-care workers in the city. You almost couldn't make this up. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 18:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 1st, 2021

UK Vaccine Mandate May Force 123,000 Out Of Health Care Sector

UK Vaccine Mandate May Force 123,000 Out Of Health Care Sector Authored by Alexander Zhang via The Epoch Times, The UK’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for front-line health and social care staff in England may force more than 120,000 people to leave the sector, according to government estimates. Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Tuesday that all those working in the National Health Service (NHS) and social care must get fully vaccinated to continue in their jobs from April 1, 2022. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the mandate will apply to health and social care workers who have “direct, face-to-face contact” with patients—such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and domiciliary care workers, unless they are exempt. The rule will also apply to porters or receptionists who may have social contact with patients. The policy is intended to “avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS, and of course protect the NHS itself,” Javid told the House of Commons on Tuesday. In an impact assessment (pdf), also published on Tuesday, the government estimated that around 54,000 medical and social care staff will take up the offer of a jab as a result of the vaccine mandate. But it admitted that the policy could have a “significant impact” on the health and care workforce and could result in as many as 123,000 staff members leaving their jobs. The government’s impact statement estimates that by the end of the grace period around 88,000 health workers, including 73,000 NHS staff, and 35,000 social care workers will remain unvaccinated. The statement warned that “any reduction in the numbers of health and social care staff may lead to reduced or delayed services” at a time when the UK health system is “stretched with an elective waiting list of 5.72 million and high levels of vacancies.” The impact report also estimates that the “cost of replacing unvaccinated workers is £270 million ($365 million).” The main opposition Labour party said it wants to see NHS staff vaccinated but advised the government to “proceed with caution” given possible staff shortages. Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said on Tuesday that NHS trusts are concerned that the policy “could exacerbate some of these chronic understaffing problems,” adding “we simply cannot afford to lose thousands of NHS staff overnight.” Also on Tuesday, officials in Northern Ireland announced that plans for a public consultation on mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccination for new recruits to the health and social care workforce in the province. But the Welsh and Scottish governments are not planning to introduce mandated vaccines for health and social care staff. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/11/2021 - 06:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 11th, 2021

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, The battle over the attempted forced vaccination of 100% of the American population regardless of scientific reason or prudence has brought out the absolute worst within a certain group of people in our society. They are showing their true colors as the authoritarians they really are, desperately clamoring for the power to compel people they don’t know or care about to submit to an experimental covid “vaccine” with no long term testing to prove its safety. I noted this trend in detail in my recent article ‘Noam Chomsky Goes Off The Deep End – Proving All Socialism Leads To Tyranny’, and I have to say, there are some folks out there that are shockingly monstrous just under the surface. It makes one realize how the dictatorships and genocides of the 20th Century were made possible. Historians tend to blame the idea of the “charismatic dictator” for the rise of totalitarianism within any given culture, as if all it takes is a single well dressed and well spoken figure with the ability to manipulate the emotional output of the masses into doing things they would not otherwise do. This is a fantasy. In reality, dictators and oligarchs cannot come to power without the avid support of a certain subset of the population that WANTS and LOVES tyranny. That is to say, authoritarians in government appeal to the rotten core of the worst of humanity – the sociopaths, the narcissists, the psychopaths, the control freaks and micromanagers. They work hand-in-hand with the aberrant and the fearful, the deceitful and the grotesque, and they align with such people to make it appear as though authoritarianism is an overwhelming desire of the majority when it is actually the deviant thirst of an aggressive minority. Of course, as in physics, there is no action within human society without an equal and opposite reaction. Just as the covid mandates have brought out the worst in some people, they have also brought out the best in others. The people who love and respect logic, reason and individual liberty are massing. We are legion, and I have been consistently surprised at how many of us there are within government institutions including law enforcement. The Sheriff of LA County, Alex Villanueva, proved his courage this week with a public media address covering the destructive effects of the covid mandates on his own department, using cold hard data to show that thousands of personnel and deputies, 30% of the Sheriff’s department, will be leaving or will be forced out of work by LA County if the vaccine mandates move forward in January. He also faced down a torrent of some of the dumbest and most vitriolic questions I have ever heard from a crowd of clearly biased “journalists” (i.e. leftist activists) scrambling to cast doubt on the sheriff and his data. I recommend watching Sheriff Villanueva’s even handed and rational presentation in full here: Keep in mind that the Sheriff is a vaccinated person, but he continues to defend the rights of his deputies to make personal informed decisions on the jab. Being anti-mandate does not mean a person is necessarily “anti-vax”. I think the sheriff did an admirable job presenting his case so I won’t rehash it here. However, what I do want to talk about is some of the INSANE rhetoric coming form the reporters in the crowd as they tried to confront and brow-beat him on his information and personal stance. There were some facts that the Sheriff put forward that the media seemed to be especially triggered by, so let’s talk about these issues for a moment… Covid Mandates Are Not Laws Multiple leftist reporters were extremely perturbed by the notion that Sheriff Department personnel could be “allowed” to defy the mandates at all. This was perhaps the most revealing line of questioning from the media, showcasing their complete lack of knowledge on constitutional law and their inherent hunger for control. Primarily, the questioning asserted that deputies and other staff would be “breaking the law” by refusing to comply with the mandates, and the media compared non-compliance with the jab to criminal non-compliance with a traffic stop. Sheriff Villanueva rightly reminded reporters that covid mandates are NOT laws. The reporters didn’t seem to understand. One of them even suggested that this argument was “semantics”. No, it is not semantics. If mandates are “laws”, then our country’s legal system should be done away with entirely and all decisions should be made from on high by executive fiat, making people like Biden and his handlers dictators by default. Laws are passed by legislatures or voted on by the citizenry in the US. The vax mandates are what is called “Color of Law”; they are dictates passed down by executive order or through bureaucracy with no checks and balances and are presented as laws when they are not. There is no allowance for “mandates” in the US Constitution, and I would also remind covid cultists that there is also no allowance for “emergency powers” within the Bill of Rights. The government does not get to wake up one day and decide which rights you are allowed to have and which rights you are not allowed to have based on their arbitrary perception of a national emergency. Our rights our sacrosanct and not subject to the whims of government. One reporter asks if the Sheriff is supporting the idea that people should be allowed to pick and choose which laws they want to obey. The Sheriff says of course not, but this question is disingenuous at its core and assumes that “laws” are sacred in and of themselves. If a law is unconstitutional and immoral, then yes, each person absolutely has the right to shrug off that law. Laws do not matter. All that matters is what is right and what is wrong. One would hope that our society’s laws will reflect our society’s values and principles, but sometimes they stand in direct opposition to our moral compass. Covid mandates are not laws, and even if they were they would be both unconstitutional and immoral laws that do not deserve our respect. There is nothing wrong with refusing to obey an illegal and immoral order. Covid Cultists Don’t Think People Should Be Allowed To Leave Their Jobs Without Punishment I always thought that losing one’s job WAS supposed to be the punishment for being unvaxxed. Apparently this is not enough for the covid cultists. Reporters insinuate that people who don’t comply with the vax should be criminally prosecuted under the mandates (which are not laws), just as a person would be criminally prosecuted for not complying with a deputy during a traffic stop. This confirms my suspicion that leftists did not expect such a large number of people to risk their jobs to defy the mandates. Leftists and pro-authoritarians have no concept of valuing principles over one’s own comfort or safety, and so the large national opposition to the mandates has caught them off guard. Now they are facing the prospect that THEY will have to suffer real world consequences for their support of vax authoritarianism, and the leftists don’t like that. The Sheriff logically outlines the facts on the ground in terms of personnel and how many will be leaving or will be fired due to the mandates, and the numbers hit hard. With at least 30% of the department gone, law enforcement in LA County will be effectively crippled. They are already short-staffed as it is because of the LA County Board Of Supervisors and their woke agenda to “defund the police”. Suddenly, losing their police force is not sitting well with those same woke activists. The media was very aggressive in trying to cast doubt on the idea that many deputies and staff were leaving because of the mandates, which the Sheriff squashed immediately by making it clear that the losses could only be attributed to vax requirements and any other suggestion would be disingenuous. The bottom line is this: The system as we know it will shut down if the mandates are enforced. This is why Joe Biden and friends are waiting to enforce the mandates until AFTER the Christmas season. They know that businesses and industries across the board will be hobbled by the loss of 30% or more of their workers and that many government institutions will be unable to function with the loss of 10% of staff, let alone 30% or more. The media is already trying to paint the narrative that people forced out of their jobs because of the mandates are the BAD GUYS, not the victims. This is classic leftist gaslighting. They attack the population with their edicts, they offer a non-choice in terms of compliance, and then when a large number of people choose to make sacrifices rather than submit, the authoritarians label those people “criminals.” In other words, the message is: “Because you will not submit to my tyranny, you are hurting society. Your lack of submission to my authoritarianism is an attack on me and the greater good.” The Narrative Is More Important To Covid Cultists Than The Facts Reporters then argued that the Sheriff should be “evangelizing” for the vaccines instead of giving such a presentation. I find this use of language interesting. I have long said that pro-vaxxers are a kind of cult that ignores the science and has turned the national medical response into a political witch hunt against conservatives and liberty minded people. The media thinks the Sheriff of LA County should be “evangelizing” to his staff, which means they want him to stop publicly sharing data that disagrees with their religion because it could derail what they believe to be a “righteous crusade”. But the vax mandates have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with public control. Sheriff Villanueva rightly points out that people who are vaccinated should not be worried about the vax status of the person next to them. As I have argued over and over again ever since the vaccines were introduced: If the vaccines work then the unvaccinated pose no threat whatsoever to the vaccinated. If they don’t work, then why are they trying to mandate them in the first place? Vaccinated people still actively spread the virus. Highly vaccinated countries like Israel have the highest infection rates in the world. Vaccinated people make up the bulk of hospitalizations and deaths in majority vaccinated countries. Unvaccinated people who have natural immunity are up to 27 times more protected from covid than people who take the vaccines. These are the facts. Furthermore, the media absolutely refuses to openly discuss the actual death rate of the covid virus. The median Infection Fatality Rate of covid is a mere 0.27% according to the medical establishment and numerous peer reviewed studies. Who are the unvaxxed a threat to? 0.2% of the population? Why don’t those people take the vax and leave the rest of us alone? Does the science not matter anymore? There is no evidence that shows that the unvaccinated pose a threat to anyone. None. Zero. Yet, covid cultists are calling for the unvaxxed to suffer joblessness, poverty and possibly criminal prosecution for refusing to comply. This is madness, and when you allow insane people to take control of your society, collapse is sure to follow. I suspect that the media will attempt to bury this presentation by Sheriff Villanueva because it destroys the narrative that an overwhelming majority of law enforcement and other government employees are on board with the vax mandates. It also runs contrary to a number of lies surrounding the justifications for the experimental vaccines in general. Finally, the media reaction is so ridiculous and unhinged that one immediately sees the difference between the covid cult and a normal rational person like the Sheriff. They come off as zealots while he presents as wise. I applaud his reserve and calm demeanor in the face of such rabid stupidity, and I applaud his bravery in standing for truth in an era when truth is vilified. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/08/2021 - 13:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings With President Biden's federal vaccine mandate set to take effect on Monday, health-care systems around the country are suspending elective in-patient surgeries and refusing to accept ICU patients from other hospitals as they brace for potentially hundreds of firings of nurses and other critical staffers, potentially even doctors. According to the NYT, the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo is planning to do all that and more, as it says it may soon fire about 400 employees who have chosen not to get the single job required by the edict (which was pushed through despite being blocked by a federal judge). Similarly, officials at Northwell Health, the state's largest health-care provider, estimate that NWH might be forced to fire thousands of people who have refused to get vaccinated. In an economy with more job openings than workers - 2.2MM more, to be exact - forcing workers to choose between employment and their health or religious compunctions simply isn't a smart idea. Without even a hint of self-awareness, the governor apparently agrees: "What is looming for Monday is completely avoidable, and there’s no excuses,” Ms. Hochul said, pleading for those who have not done so to get vaccinated," Hochul said during a weekend press briefing. But we digress. The situation is less dire in NYC, but there will still be plenty of hospitals left with massive staffing holes after mass-firings. The city's largest private hospital network, NewYork-Presbyterian, has more than 200 employees who may face termination because they haven't received at least one jab. Of course, as we have pointed out in recent posts, health-care workers are only a fraction of the worker who will be impacted by shortages across the economy. In California, nurse shortages have reached crisis levels in California, airlines are seeing flights frequently cancelled due to worker shortages. As of late September, 84% of NY's 450,000 hospital workers and 83% of nursing home workers - which number around 45,400 - remained unvaccinated.  Despite being directly threatened by their superiors, most say they're refusing the jab on religious or health grounds, or because they're allergic to certain ingredients. In an effort to scare workers into compliance, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has threatened to find "foreign workers" to staff the Empire state's hospitals and care homes (despite the fact that vaccination rates are much lower in most of the world outside the US). She has also threatened to call in the National Guard or order a state of emergency in a plan unveiled over the weekend. NY's teachers are also facing a mandate to either get vaccinated or kiss their jobs goodbye. Roughly 10,000 public school workers, that's compared to 75K teachers and tens of thousands of other employees from custodians to paraprofessioanls. Circling back to hospitals and care homes, institutions like Northwell are being relatively parsimonious with their exemptions for religious and health reasons, But some are getting through . NY's emergency order doesn't stipulate how exactly hospitals and nursing homes should enforce it, and there's a good chance that hospitals serving communities in greater need will be forced to make exceptions. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have gotten the jab in far lower numbers than white new Yorkers. The NYT points out in its story that some hospitals in the Bronx see unvaccinated rates among doctors and nurses reaching into double-digit territory. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, about 12 percent of the nearly 3,000 employees had not been vaccinated as of midday on Friday, the chief medical officer, Eric Appelbaum, said in an interview. The group includes roughly 3 important doctors, and plenty of badly eed studiws Anecdotally hospitals are reporting a surge in vaccinations among hospital workers who haven't yet been vaccinated. But who knows what to believe. All we know is that we wouldn't want to be having an elective surgery or delivering a baby in NY right now. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

Coronavirus links: two years of knowledge

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe, get a booster shotat a vaccination site near... VaccinesNearly all teens in the ICU are unvaccinated. (washingtonpost.com)Americans aren't getting their flu shots. (nytimes.com)Where are the variant-specific boosters? (marginalrevolution.com)It's not clear that we will need Omicron-specific vaccines. (nytimes.com)OmicronOmicron may be milder, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to have a big societal impact. (theatlantic.com)It's still worth it to push off an Omicron infection a couple of months. (bloomberg.com)PregnancyAccording to a new study, unvaccinated pregnant people who get Covid-19 are at much higher risk for complications. (statnews.com)Pregnant, unvaccinated women are taking some big risks. (slate.com)ChildrenHow a school principal is trying to manage through the pandemic. (slate.com)How has the pandemic has affected development of young children. (nature.com)OSHAThe U.S. Supreme Court has struck down OSHA's vaccine-or-test rule. (statnews.com)The U.S. Supreme Court takes precautions against Covid that its ruling denies companies. (washingtonpost.com)WorkMore Americans aren't isolating because they have to go to work. (theatlantic.com)Covid was the leading cause of death for U.S. police officers in 2021. (nytimes.com)United Airlines ($UAL) has thousands of workers out with Covid, but zero of its vaccinated employees are currently hospitalized. (npr.org)Citigroup ($C) employees have responded to its vaccine mandate. (nytimes.com)It's not always easy to walk away from a job that is also a calling. (wsj.com)Why front line workers aren't tested more often. (statnews.com)Unvaccinated workers miss more work. (axios.com)CareNurses are being pressured to keep working. (businessinsider.com)Staff shortages are forcing hospitals to cut capacity. (wsj.com)How staff shortages ripple through a hospital. (statnews.com)A first hand story of how Omicron-filled ERs are putting other patients at-risk. (ritholtz.com)What it's like inside a hospital overwhelmed with Covid patients. (indystar.com)How to combat nursing burnout. (statnews.com)Nurses are worn out. (scientificamerican.com)DataU.S. Covid cases are hitting record highs. (washingtonpost.com)Why distinguishing between Covid cases 'with or for' is a big distraction. (theatlantic.com)How the Covid vaccination divide has evolved over time. (ritholtz.com)MaskingThe CDC wants you to wear better masks. (statnews.com)Health care workers should be wearing N95 masks at this point. (theatlantic.com)It's time to upgrade to N95 masks. (vox.com)People in surgical masks are perceived as more attractive. (theguardian.com)How often can you reuse a N95 mask? (washingtonpost.com)TestingSome companies are being generous with Covid tests. (nytimes.com)Are throat swabs better at detecting Omicron? (wsj.com)First vaccines, now testing is the target of misinformation. (nytimes.com)How to get reimbursed for your at-home Covid tests. (npr.org)Next week you can order four free at-home Covid tests. (npr.org)ResearchHow some Covid-19 infections seem to generate an autoimmune response. (sciencedaily.com)How humidity, time and temperature affect the ability of the virus to infect. (bloomberg.com)How B and T cells work to keep us from getting sick. (vox.com)GlobalCountries are scrambling to get Covid antiviral pills. (wapo.st)Omicron will put China's zero-Covid, and vaccines, to the test. (wsj.com)Cases seem to have peaked in the UK. (nytimes.com)Is Covax finally finding its footing? (vox.com)StatesHow Omicron is hitting well-vaccinated Puerto Rico. (vox.com)Texas hospitals are still living through a surge in cases. (vox.com)PodcastsAndy Slavitt talks with Michael Mina, Chief Science Officer at eMed, about the ins and outs of testing. (podcasts.apple.com)Russ Roberts talks with Gregory Zuckerman about his book "A Shot to Save the World." (econtalk.org)Bakari Sellers talks with Dr. Anthony Fauci talk about Covid-19 misconceptions. (open.spotify.com)RisksDr. Aaron Carroll, "If you are sick, even with severe Covid, you want someone with a doctor’s viewpoint caring for you. America, however, is not a patient." (nytimes.com)A changing virus and inconsistent messaging has made for mass confusion. (washingtonpost.com)Spotify ($SPOT) has a policy against Covid misinformation, except when it comes to Joe Rogan. (vulture.com)We are collectively still pretty bad talking about pandemic risks. (theatlantic.com)Why it's best not to get Covid during peak infection. (jeremyconrad.com)Mixed mediaTyler Cowen, "In January 2022, America remains an emotionally damaged nation." (bloomberg.com)Post-Omicron people are ready to go back out. (wsj.com)On the rise of the "vaxxed and done" crowd. (theatlantic.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsJan 15th, 2022

Short-staffed NYC schools are asking teachers with mild COVID symptoms to return to the classroom

In New York City, teachers who tested positive five days earlier can return to the classroom if they have mild or no symptoms. miljko/Getty Imagges In NYC, COVID-positive teachers who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms will return to classrooms after 5 days. Teachers who fit the bill will not have to test negative before heading back. At least 96% of teachers abided by NYC's August mandate to one vaccine shot before the start of school. As students return to school amid a record-breaking spike of COVID-19 cases in New York City, some might be taught by teachers who tested positive just five days earlier.The latest protocols now say that teachers and school-based staff who have tested positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms can return after five days instead of 10, according to an email from the Department of Education to teachers, which was viewed by Insider. The DOE did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.The new protocol stems from guidance issued by the state that says essential workers can return after five days of isolation when there are "critical" staffing shortages, and applies to fully vaccinated people who have had two shots of the mNRA vaccine or one shot of J&J at least two weeks prior to their positive test. In August, former mayor Bill de Blasio mandated that all teachers get at least one shot by the start of school, which 96% of teachers did.It's the latest group of workers to be told to return to the workplace after contracting COVID-19 — and another situation that illustrates the new pandemic workplace normal as some essential workers might head back earlier than their peers. The new protocol says that non-school based staff should still quarantine for 10 days."Like every school is in a staffing crisis right now, because of the number of people that are sick, or taking care of sick family members," Liat Olenick, an elementary school teacher, told Insider. "There's a lot of pressure on teachers to return after five days, which I really don't believe is safe."For teachers who test positive, symptoms that would allow them to return include a "minimal cough" — they can't be "coughing up phlegm" — and symptoms have to be mild or improving. Teachers will have to distance themselves if they take off their "well-fitting higher-level face covering" to eat or drink. They also must "must continue to stay at home outside of work" and "observe" other elements of isolation until 10 days pass.They will not need a negative test to return to school. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the United Federation of Teachers said that its current guidance is "the staff member must be symptom-free," and that anyone who still feels ill should not come to school.The new protocols come after the CDC slashed the isolation time for asymptomatic individuals from 10 to five days, with those people wearing a mask for the next five days. The move sparked some backlash and a myriad of memes. "Many people are no longer contagious five days after diagnosis. And those who are can minimize their risk of infecting others by wearing a mask," Dr. Celine Gounder, a leading infectious disease doctor in the US, told Insider. "That means that they need to wear that mask diligently for an additional five days when around other people. But in that context, they are very unlikely to infect others."Pairing the five-day guidelines with a negative test might also prove helpful, according to Goucher. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the CDC might recommend that asymptomatic individuals end their isolation after five days if they test negative.Mikhaela Reid is a Brooklyn-based working mother of two. In February 2021, her whole family got COVID before vaccines were widely available: "I've never been so sick in my life."After that "terrifying" experience, Reid's children returned to in-person schooling, which they love. But with the rise of Omicron, "I had never heard of so many parents or friends whose kids were sick." Reid was already concerned about sending her kids back to school after winter break. Then she saw the new health screening form that goes out to both staff and students, which asks if they've tested positive in the past 10 days. One option lets staff members indicate that they're returning after five days of isolation with no or mild symptoms — something Reid said was buried in "small print.""These are kids. These are vulnerable children," Reid said. "Yes, they need school, but they need to be healthy and safe. School needs to be a safe environment."Are you a New York City teacher or parent with a story to share? Contact this reporter at jkaplan@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

Growing Number Of Companies And Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements

Growing Number Of Companies And Organizations Are Walking Back Vaccination Requirements Submitted by Jack Phillips of Epoch Times, More and more businesses in recent days have walked back previous rules mandating COVID-19 vaccine sas a condition for employment in a bid to keep workers. UCHealth registered nurse Karen Nerger administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a mass COVID-19 vaccination event on Jan. 30, 2021 Earlier this week, Amtrak—a quasi-public corporation—became the latest to rescind its vaccine requirement amid concerns about staff shortages and cut service in January. In a memo sent to staff that was obtained by The Epoch Times, Amtrak CEO William Flynn said the company would do away with the mandate that would have given employees until Jan. 4 to get fully vaccinated or go on unpaid leave. About 500 out of more than 17,000 Amtrak workers remain unvaccinated, according to the memo. Still, the sudden loss of that many workers would have caused service disruptions, Flynn suggested, while noting that Amtrak was acting in accordance with recent court orders handed down against President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates. Several hospitals and healthcare systems have similarly rescinded vaccine mandates for employees and cited labor issues that were triggered by the new requirements. In early December, Florida’s AdventHealth announced the end of its vaccine requirement for some 83,000 workers, also citing the several recent court injunctions against federal mandates. “Due to recent decisions by the federal courts to block the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] vaccine mandate, we are suspending all vaccination requirements of our COVID-19 vaccination policy,” AdventHealth Chief Clinical Officer Neil Finkler said in a letter to staff. The move came after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed to The Epoch Times that the agency suspended enforcement following two court orders several weeks ago. An Amtrak passenger train sits in New York City’s Pennsylvania Station on April 27, 2017. Tenet Healthcare, HCA Healthcare, and Cleveland Clinic recently announced they are pulling back as well, citing labor concerns. Along with AdventHealth, the three healthcare companies operate a combined 300 hospitals and have more than 500,000 workers. They cited recent court orders that blocked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing its mandate on Medicare- and Medicaid-funded medical facilities. The rule was announced by Biden on the same day that he confirmed that he would impose mandates on federal government employees, businesses who have contracts with the federal government, and, most controversially, businesses that have 100 or more workers. The mandate for private businesses, slated to be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was paused by the agency last month following a scathing ruling that was issued by a panel of judges on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. At the time, OSHA said it remained confident that the federal government would ultimately prevail in court. “We have seen some anecdotal reports of hospitals that have paused or rolled back their vaccine mandates in light of the legal process that is currently playing out,” the American Hospital Association said in a statement to The Washington Post about the recent hospital decisions on vaccine requirements. But the organization said that it does “not think most hospitals are changing their mandates, but some may be choosing to mandate weekly testing or other mitigating strategies for unvaccinated workers instead,” while “some have also decided to no longer terminate unvaccinated staff.” Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Unified School District board, for different reasons, voted overwhelmingly in favor of postponing its student vaccine requirement from January 2022 until the fall of 2022 after tens of thousands of students reportedly would not comply—meaning that they would not be able to attend in-person classes. Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest naval shipbuilder in the United States, announced it won’t enforce the Biden administration’s federal contractor mandate. The company had told its 44,000 workers that it was not contractually obligated to comply, although a federal judge in Georgia later blocked the mandate. The University of Iowa also recently pulled its vaccine directive for staff working on federal contracts from its website following a federal judge’s order last month. University of Iowa Faculty Senate President Teresa Marshall said on Dec. 7 that the requirement was placed on hold until federal lawsuits get sorted out. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/17/2021 - 20:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 17th, 2021

The life and lawsuits of Lucas Wall, a frequent flier who"s made it his mission to fight Biden"s mask mandate

Lucas Wall, a resident of Washington, DC, who says he's stranded in Florida, has become a leader of a group of anti-mask litigants. Frequent flier Lucas Wall outside his mom's place in The Villages, Florida, where he's been stuck since the Biden mask mandate was put in place. Wall, a leader of a coordinated group of anti-maskers, would often say, "I'm still at mom's."Octavio Jones for Insider Lucas Wall is in a legal battle with the Biden administration over mask mandates for travelers. Dozens of anti-maskers have joined him to argue that the mandates are unconstitutional. The administration has rebuked him. JetBlue has said he's "no longer welcome to fly" with it. A few months after federal mask mandates for US travelers went into effect, a frequent flier named Lucas Wall walked up to a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Orlando International Airport without a mask.Moments earlier, Wall had pressed record on a video that he would later file as an exhibit in a pair of lawsuits against the Biden administration and seven US airlines. The video began with a shot of his COVID-19 vaccination card. He told the camera that it had been about three weeks since he was considered fully vaccinated. He held up a boarding pass for a 10 a.m. Southwest Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale."I am not traveling to another state today. Thus, the federal government has no jurisdiction to force me to cover my face," he said before approaching the checkpoint.A TSA agent pulled a mask out of a box. "To get in, you need a mask," the agent said. Wall declined. He said he was already vaccinated. The agent called for backup.For the next hour or so, Wall spoke with TSA and airport officials, along with Southwest staff members. They inspected his boarding pass and travel documents. They asked him whether he'd filed for a medical exemption. Nobody raised their voice; the resulting videos didn't feature the yelling, screaming, or kicking that has become common on planes during the pandemic. Wall was laying the groundwork for his legal arguments.The incident at the TSA booth on that Wednesday in June was the beginning of a months-long crusade in which Wall has filed thousands of pages of legal arguments and exhibits in federal court in Orlando. In July, Wall tried to take his argument directly to the Supreme Court. In August, the Biden administration filed a blistering response that amounted to its most robust legal defense of its mask mandate for travelers so far.This month, 26 states sued the administration over another mandate — a vaccination requirement for large businesses — using arguments that were very similar to Wall's. The states also argued that President Joe Biden did not have a constitutional grounding to require pandemic safety measures for most Americans.Surveys have suggested that a majority of Americans favor wearing masks as a safety measure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization both say that wearing masks helps stop the spread of COVID-19.But face coverings have become polarizing, with surveys finding opposition from groups including conservatives, the wealthy, and men.Wall's lawsuits have attracted vocal promoters and detractors. Some have sent him emails or texts — a few of which he shared with Insider — accusing him of not taking the pandemic seriously. At least one email referred to him as an "inconsiderate piece of shit.""Sometimes the messages are just so vile that I just block the person and don't even bother responding," Wall said in a recent phone call from Florida. "If anything, they give me more motivation, because I know how wrong they are and I want to prove it to them by winning."Stuck 'at Mom's' in FloridaEarly this year, Wall flew from Washington, DC, where he lives, down to Florida to visit his mom, Lorraine Wall, who lives in The Villages, a sprawling retirement community. He'd been visiting regularly during the pandemic, making sure she was OK.He'd planned to fly back after he was fully vaccinated. But while he was there, Biden signed an executive order to mandate masks for travelers. The CDC and the TSA followed with federal mandates. Airlines also put in place their own requirements.Wall has generalized anxiety disorder, medical documents filed alongside his lawsuits say; he says it prevents him from wearing a mask. Wall, who has made it a goal to travel to every country and territory in the world — he's also been to every state, state capitol building, and national park — said he was grounded without an exemption from the carriers.In a series of phone conversations over the past few months, Wall told Insider about his battle against the government and airlines. He said he didn't have much to do at The Villages, a retirement community with 130,000 residents, but he was busy working on his lawsuits anyway. "Yeah, still at Mom's," he would say each time we spoke. But he was always cheerful about it.Residents dance in the square of The Villages in 2016.Rhona Whise/AFP via Getty Images"He's good company," Lorraine Wall said in an interview. "And he does a certain amount of chores."Lucas Wall credits his mother with his longtime love of travel. She retired from an airline, and they've seen the world using her travel benefits. She said she was "100%" supportive of his effort to end federal mask mandates for travelers, in part because she doesn't much like wearing masks either. ("They don't stay on my ears — they just keep popping off," she said.) Her son took over a wing of her house and immersed himself in legal studies. He'd pop in for dinner some nights when he wasn't too busy.In June, Wall filed two lawsuits in US District Court in Orlando. One was against the government, naming among its defendants Biden and the CDC. The other was against seven US airlines: Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit."He's very persistent," Wall's mother said, "and he's not going to stop until he wins."Those filings amounted to about 300 pages packed with dense legalese and citations of other cases and precedent. Growing up in northern Virginia in the '80s and '90s, Wall learned about the law from his father, William Wall, a former fighter pilot who became a lawyer. His father served as his attorney on his first case.Wall at The Villages last month.Octavio Jones for Insider"When he was in high school, he had a lawsuit against the school board," Wall's mother said a few weeks ago. "I think he may have told you about that."In the mid-1990s, Wall sued his high-school principal and other officials after they wouldn't hand over vote totals of a student election. It was his first big lawsuit against people in power. (He'd later spend three years in a legal battle with Virginia over whether he had to renew his driver's license.)He lost the suit against his principal. A local-news clip shot outside the Virginia courthouse showed Wall, in a suit and tie, surrounded by reporters, their microphones jammed in his face."One of the most important things I've learned in high school has been learning how to deal with defeat," he told the crowd. He'd later appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, which heard the case but upheld the lower court's decision.He's had a few setbacks with his mask lawsuits, too. Wall has a brother and a sister-in-law in Germany whom he's looking forward to visiting again. He had a ticket to see them in July, which was the reason for his emergency Supreme Court petition. (Wall listed $769.89 in flight-related costs as part of his argument about "irreparable harm.") But Justice Clarence Thomas declined to review the petition with the full court.A growing followingWall's lawsuits attracted media attention in part because they were among the first of their kind, but also because he was representing himself. "I'm not a wealthy person, I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to hire an attorney, so that's why I've been working on this on my own," Wall said when we first spoke on the phone. After stories about his lawsuits were published, he heard from other people who also thought mask mandates were unjust or illegal, he said.In Chicago, there was Justin Mahwikizi, a driver for ride-hailing services. "I saw some coverage of his lawsuit while I was researching and drafting mine," Mahwikizi told me. "So I reached out to better understand the federal rules and procedures." After they spoke, Mahwikizi filed his own lawsuit against the CDC.Since then, Wall's anti-mask entourage has grown steadily. In August, more than 30 passengers and flight attendants filed declarations in support of Wall's lawsuit against the Biden administration. When Wall filed an amended complaint against the airlines in September, he added a dozen new plaintiffs. In October, other members of the group filed petitions in six federal circuit courts, with each filing referencing Wall's lawsuit. In an interview last month, Wall told Insider he was preparing a third lawsuit, this time against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Several people who've joined him in filing a series of lawsuits and petitions described him to Insider as a leader of sorts.In Kentucky, Shannon Greer Cila was browsing GoFundMe when she came across Wall's fundraiser and reached out to him. "He's a little terse. He's very focused. He's very directed," Cila said in a call recently. But he was hard-working, she said, and she signed on as a co-plaintiff against the airlines.Biden and Fauci in February.Evan Vucci/AP PhotoIn Florida, Leonardo McDonnell offered Wall his help after hearing about his lawsuits. "This is good versus evil, and I don't believe in defeating evil with kindness," McDonnell told Insider in an email.In Israel, Uriel ben-Mordechai found himself drawn into Wall's orbit via a Google search for people who felt similarly about mandates for masks, which he called "face diapers." He and his wife, Adi, donated to Wall's fundraiser, then joined his airline lawsuit."He's like me — he's not a lawyer, but he knows the system," ben-Mordechai said in a call recently. "This guy knows what he's doing."Outside of Wall's group of co-petitioners and supporters, views were different. On Villages-News.com, a community publication following Wall's lawsuits, a commenter dubbed Wall a "mommy's boy.""My eleven year-old nephew has a better understanding of the Constitution than you do," the commenter said. "I feel sorry for your mommy. She must loooove you lots to be embarrassed by your constant public statements."People who emailed Wall directly were just as blunt, he said. "People talk about what they do to help others or what they would do for their country but you can't even wear a mask," one email he shared with Insider said. "It's sad and speaks volumes about the type of person you are."The Biden administration's defenseIn early October, the Biden administration's lawyers tried to poke holes in Wall's complaint. He had bought his plane ticket on May 31, just two days before he planned to fly, they said.The lawyers said that instead of filling out Southwest's form to request a medical exemption from the mask mandate, Wall wrote on the form that he thought the request itself was illegal. They said that because he had booked the flight with such short notice, Southwest could not have granted an exemption, and TSA officials acted accordingly. They said the complaint "is due to be dismissed as a shotgun pleading," a term for legal filings that are stuffed with facts but have little organization. They'd taken issue with the first 182 pages, or 960 paragraphs, of Wall's initial 206-page filing, saying they were "replete with conclusory, vague, and immaterial facts."A US district courthouse.Cliff Owen/AP PhotoAs such, it was difficult to say which of those 960 paragraphs related to each of the 23 charges Wall had levied at the government, the lawyers wrote."It is not the Court's responsibility to cobble together portions of the Complaint to create a comprehensible pleading," they said.In late October, Wall replied with a 22-point objection, adding 55 pages of arguments. He said he'd filled out Southwest's "illegal mask-exemption-request form" immediately after booking."Even if it were permitted by law, it would have been impossible for me to send in the form any sooner," Wall wrote.Wall told the court that his claim was "long and detailed" but that "short and plain" statements of fact made up the 960 paragraphs the government had mentioned. He said his arguments were "simple, concise, and direct."A canceled ticketAs Wall continued his legal battle, members of his coalition of anti-maskers began running into difficulties of their own.In late September, Wall convened a group of 13 fliers who opposed masks for medical reasons. In one day, they filed petitions in six federal circuit courts, with each referencing Wall's suit. In the weeks that followed, they and Wall began running into issues with the TSA and airlines.One of the petitioners, Michael Faris, a helicopter technician from Kentucky, booked a flight on United but was denied boarding after he declined to wear a mask, then put one on at the gate, then had "a panic attack and collapse in the jetway," he said in a court filing. He rebooked with American but found that his boarding pass had been marked "SSSS," a TSA category meaning "Secondary Security Screening Selection," which required extensive searching before boarding.A boarding pass marked "SSSS," a TSA code for Secondary Security Screening Selection.Jim Urquhart/ReutersFaris wrote in an emergency petition that he "submitted a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security, TSA's parent agency, regarding his placement on the terrorist watchlist." A few days later, Faris said in a statement that he'd since been removed from the list. The TSA didn't respond to Insider's request for comment.Faris last week filed another emergency petition, again asking the court to invalidate the mask mandate. Dept. of Justice lawyers responded by saying that "any harm suffered by [Faris] is plainly outweighed by the need to protect the public from unsafe air operations." On Friday, three federal circuit judges denied the motion. A few weeks ago, Wall said in an email to Insider that he'd been barred from flying on JetBlue. He'd finally booked a flight to Washington, DC, and requested a mask waiver from the airline. But his ticket was canceled "with no explanation," he said. Later, an airline customer-service supervisor told him that the company's security department had canceled his ticket, Wall said."JetBlue's action banning me from flying because I sued over its unlawful mask policy constitutes illegal retaliation for asserting my rights under the Air Carrier Access Act to be free from discrimination," Wall said in his email.He sent similar emails to the media for each person in the group of 13 who'd been removed from a flight or prevented from flying. But behind the scenes, Wall was planning something bigger: a media event that would, he believed, bring further attention to his cause.A 'silent & peaceful' protestOn August 1, a private Facebook group called Americans Against Mask Mandates was created. The group, which said it opposed any government order that "muzzled" people, attracted hundreds of Facebook users.Weeks before Wall booked his flight from Orlando to Washington, he posted in that group looking for volunteers who wanted to make a statement against the mask mandate through "Operation Freedom to Breathe Flights" and to help launch his lawsuit against Fauci. (A person with access to the group shared the post with Insider.)The post said Wall was looking for people from around the country to book flights to Washington. On each flight, those volunteers would "remove their mask when the seatbelt sign is turned off and refuse to put it back on," the post said, adding, "All fliers will be given legal documents to hand to the flight attendants who come around demanding the muzzles be put back on."Wall wanted his volunteers to "agree to a SILENT & PEACEFUL" protest, with "no yelling, chanting, arguing with FAs and/or other passengers, etc.," it said.Wall in The Villages in October.Octavio Jones for InsiderJetBlue told Insider that Wall had been barred because of social-media posts that had been shared with the airline, not because of the lawsuit he'd filed against the airlines."We continue to comply with the federal mask mandate and offer a process for exemptions in limited cases. The safety of our crewmembers and customers is our top priority," a spokesperson, Derek Dombrowski, said in an email."This customer has publicly announced efforts to recruit and organize other customers to collectively disrupt flights on commercial aircraft heading to Washington, D.C., this month by refusing to wear their masks during flights. It's for this reason, not his current litigation, that he is no longer welcome to fly JetBlue."Wall had planned for the protesters to meet up in the baggage claim at Dulles Airport in Washington for a press conference. Then they'd "all ride maskless" on the subway to the federal courthouse near the Capitol, the post said. He pictured a media event with the plaintiffs going in the courthouse to file while others "yell and chant outside.""After we come out with the stamped 'FILED' copy of the complaint, we'll hold another media availability to talk about the lawsuit against Dr. Fauci et al," he said.As of mid-November, Wall hadn't yet filed that complaint.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 18th, 2021

Airline staffers won"t have to be vaccinated before the holiday travel season - but tension and uncertainty remain in wake of extended vaccine deadline

Employment lawyers told Insider that airlines may jeopardize future government contracts if they don't comply with the extended vaccination deadline. Airline staff will not have to be fully vaccinated until January 4, 2022. HMBSoFL Photography / Shutterstock.com and Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty The Biden administration pushed back the vaccine mandate deadline for federal contractors to January 4, 2022. Airlines with federal contracts don't have to worry about meeting the deadline until after the holidays. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines previously signaled they weren't going to comply with the original deadline. Airlines will be able to keep unvaccinated workers this holiday season without fear of reprisal from the federal government.The Biden administration outlined new COVID-19 vaccine rules for contractors of the federal government this week, including airlines that hold federal contracts. As part of the updated policy, the deadline to require vaccinations for employees was moved to January 4, 2022, up from the original date of December 8. Unvaccinated airline workers seeking exemptions will have until January 4 to file a request. While American Airlines has already extended its internal vaccine deadline, Southwest told Insider that it is "reviewing the revised guidance." The extension staves off a potential showdown between the government and airlines over unvaccinated workers heading into the busy holiday season. Prior to the new deadline, many airlines had already signaled they may not fully comply with the December timeline, including executives at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines who indicated they would refuse to fire unvaccinated staffers. It also comes as many airlines struggle with understaffing during a period of recovery for the industry. Southwest and American both canceled thousands of flights last month alone when staffing shortages became compounded with extreme weather. Employment lawyers told Insider that companies could jeopardize future government contracts if they don't comply, though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's hefty fines for noncompliance may not apply to airlines, given the agency's rule does not apply to federal contractors. Airlines, under the rule, may also be able to designate contracted workplaces that are subject to the vaccine mandate while other workplaces could only be subject to regular testing for unvaccinated workers. Still, airlines may not be able to easily differentiate, according to Mark Goldstein, a partner and labor and employment attorney and partner at Reed Smith."The conservative approach then would be to simply comply with the requirements set forth in the federal contractor guidance," Goldstein told Insider. The federal government is asserting that its mandate takes precedent over state and local laws, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott's executive order barring employers from requiring workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite bristling over the deadline, Southwest and American, both headquartered in Texas, previously stated they would follow the federal guidance over the state's executive order.Airlines will still have leeway in how they deal with unvaccinated staff come January 4, and firings may not immediately begin. However, a company without a fully vaccinated workforce may not be able to do business with the federal government when it comes time to bid on new government contracts, according to Christopher Foley, a partner and labor and employment attorney at Foley & Lardner."At the end of the day, if the government wants to pull the plug on the contract for noncompliance with their requirement, they can do so," Foley told Insider. "That's sort of the nuclear option here."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 6th, 2021

Into The Abyss We Go...

Into The Abyss We Go... Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, Why won’t our politicians ever listen?  Just two days after voters made it exceedingly clear that they hate mandates, the Biden administration has announced that the nationwide OSHA mandate will go into effect on January 4th.  Are Biden and his minions this dense, or do they just not care what the American people think?  It has been estimated that the new OSHA mandate will cover approximately 80 million Americans, and it could potentially result in millions of highly qualified workers losing their jobs in early 2022. What the Biden administration is trying to do is completely unconstitutional, and red states are already challenging it in court.  Many people may not realize it yet, but this is one of the most important turning points in U.S. history. From an economic standpoint, this new mandate is going to be absolutely disastrous.  We are already in the midst of the worst worker shortage in all of U.S. history, and we are currently dealing with a supply chain crisis of epic proportions.  Forcing millions of Americans out of their jobs right in the middle of the upcoming winter will take both the worker shortage and the supply chain crisis to entirely new levels. But Biden is going to do it anyway. On Thursday, we learned that January 4th has been set as the official deadline for compliance with the new OSHA mandate… Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly. The new government rules were issued Thursday. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation. If the company that you work for has 100 or more employees, you are covered by this mandate. Needless to say, many employers will be frightened into submission by the extremely high financial penalties.  Those companies that are deemed to be “repeat offenders” could potentially “face a maximum fine of $136,532”… Repeat offenders or those found to be willfully noncompliant could face a maximum fine of $136,532. It is not immediately clear what constitutes a repeat offender. Of course many businesses across the country have no intention of ever complying with this new mandate. Realizing this is the case, the Biden administration will be secretly sending out OSHA spies to conduct surprise inspections… OSHA staffers will be doing random inspections to check if businesses are complying and employees could have to pay for their own tests out of pocket. The agency is using emergency orders that usually deal with workers exposed to ‘grave dangers’ to enforce the standards. GOP lawmakers responded with fury and said some unvaccinated Americans were being forced to decide between putting food on the table or getting the shot, while retailers said the new rules will put an ‘unnecessary’ burden on businesses before the holiday season. It’s official. We now live in a dystopian nightmare. And many local regimes are also choosing to become increasingly authoritarian.  For example, just check out the new rules for children that will soon be implemented in San Francisco… San Francisco will soon require children as young as 5 to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor public spaces like restaurants, entertainment venues and sporting events, public health officials said this week. The local mandate already requires children and adults over the age of 12 to show proof that they are vaccinated before entering those places. Now, city health officials are planning to extend the health order to children ages 5 to 11, the group newly eligible for the shot. America used to be the “land of the free”, but that is clearly not true anymore. The months ahead are not going to be pleasant.  As mandates choke the life out of our economy, the ongoing shortages are going to get even worse and prices are going to go a lot higher. In fact, we are already being told to brace ourselves for “sticker shock” when we go to buy meat… For America’s meateaters, this is a problem. Some cuts have soared 25 percent over the past year, while others are fetching near record prices, making meat one of the biggest contributors to pandemic inflation. And industry experts expect meat to keep gaining through the holidays and beyond. “The sticker shock is what we all need to be prepared for,” said Bindiya Vakil, chief executive officer of supply-chain consultant Resilinc. “This is here to stay, at least through the summer of 2022.” The good news is that nobody in this country is starving at this point. The bad news is that food prices around the world continue to escalate dramatically, and this is pushing millions upon millions of people in poorer countries into hunger.  This week, we learned that global food prices shot up another 3 percent in the month of October… A United Nations index tracking staples from wheat to vegetable oils climbed 3% to a fresh decade high in October, threatening even higher grocery bills for households that have already been strained by the pandemic. That could also add to central banks’ inflation worries and risks worsening global hunger that’s at a multiyear high. As I have been relentlessly warning, a plethora of factors have combined to create a “perfect storm” for food prices… Bad weather hit harvests around the world this year, freight costs soared and labor shortages have roiled the food supply chain from farms to supermarkets. An energy crisis has also proved a headache, forcing vegetable greenhouses to go dark and causing a knock-on risk of bigger fertilizer bills for farmers. Many of these factors will continue to intensify in 2022. So be thankful for what you have, because in some parts of the world things are already starting to get quite crazy. For example, in North Korea citizens are now being encouraged to eat black swan meat due to the “crippling food shortage” in that nation… North Korea has started touting the “exceptional” health benefits of consuming black swans after breeding them, while also farming rabbits as the country battles a crippling food shortage, according to state media. “Black swan meat is delicious and has medicinal value,” the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in an article published Monday. I have been warning that this was coming, and things are only going to get worse from here. So I would stock up while you still can, because food prices are only going to go higher. If you are one of those that may lose a job in the months ahead, I want you to know that our prayers are with you. Don’t give up, and don’t lose hope. I know that things are really dark right now, but sometimes the darkest valleys in life are where the light shines the brightest. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 22:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 5th, 2021

Employers who break Biden"s incoming vaccine rules could be fined $13,600 per employee and another $136,000 for "willful violation"

The mandate, due to begin on Janaury 4, 2022, requires staff at large companies and some healthcare firms to get vaccinated or get weekly COVID tests. President Joe Biden discusses the US vaccine rollout at the White House on November 03, 2021. Drew Angerer/Getty Images The Biden administration laid out more details of its incoming vaccine rules on Thursday. The rules require employees at larger companies to get vaccinated or take regular tests. The mandate begins on January 4, and comes with vast fines for rule-breakers. The Biden administration plans hefty fines for companies that fail to comply with its COVID vaccine and testing mandates after they come into force on January 4.Each employee who breaks the rule will cost their bosses $13,653 per violation, with heavier fines of up to $136,532 for "willful violations," according to a White House media briefing on the rules.The full text of the rules is due to be published later.The rules required that employees at companies with more than 100 staff have to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the disease and wear a mask at work.The rules and their enforcement are being overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).The mandate applies to 84.2 million workers at 1.9 million private sector companies, said the OSHA. Workers at nursing home and other healthcare workers at organisations that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs must also get vaccinated by that date. For these workers, there is no testing option. Jim Frederick, deputy assistant secretary of labor at OSHA, told CBS News that "We know that the vast majority of workplaces will be in compliance.""In those cases where OSHA does have to come and work with a workplace with non-compliance, we assess the situation and the gravity or severity of a citation issue."In a statement Thursday, President Joe Biden defended requiring vaccination, a step he had earlier said he would rather not carry out."Vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic. And while I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good. So I instituted requirements -- and they are working," Biden said in a statement.The move comes as the coronavirus continues to claim thousands of lives daily in the US - with most of the victims unvaccinated. The mandate is likely to face legal challenges. The governors of Florida, Texas, Indiana, and Iowa have decried the mandate as unconstitutional and a threat to individual freedom.The Biden administration says the government has broad authority to set and enforce health and safety standards in workplaces. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 5th, 2021

In 2022, "Things Aren"t Gonna Get Done" On An Absolutely Massive Scale

In 2022, "Things Aren't Gonna Get Done" On An Absolutely Massive Scale Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, Are we about to witness one of the greatest self-inflicted economic wounds in history?  Vaccine mandate deadlines are starting to arrive, and large numbers of very qualified people are losing their jobs as a result.  Of course this comes at a very bad time, because we are already in the midst of the most epic worker shortage in U.S. history.  Despite the biggest hiring push that I have ever seen in my entire lifetime, businesses all over America are still desperate for workers.  The funny thing is that lots of available workers should theoretically be out there somewhere.  The number of Americans that are currently working is still about five million less than the peak that was hit just before the pandemic arrived.  So where did all of those missing workers go?  That is a question that we desperately need an answer for, because millions of workers seem to have evaporated from the system.  Now the vaccine mandates are going to make things far worse, because millions of Americans that are actually good at their jobs are going to be ruthlessly terminated, and finding replacements for them is going to be exceedingly difficult. For instance, you can’t just pull guys off the street and have them fly planes.  Very soon, large numbers of pilots will be sent packing on a permanent basis, and pilots for American Airlines gave us a taste of what is coming by engaging in a “sick out” over the weekend… American Airlines canceled another 634 flights on Sunday, more than 12% of its total operations for the day, the company said Sunday. The airline has now canceled more than 1,500 flights since Friday, as it deals with weather issues and staffing shortages that started last week. Of course American Airlines is trying to blame “the weather” for these canceled flights, but everyone knows what is really going on. And I greatly applaud the pilots for taking a stand. If these airlines don’t reverse their mandates, pretty soon we will have widespread air travel headaches on a permanent basis in this nation. In New York City, Friday was the deadline for municipal workers to get vaccinated, and more than 26,000 of them have refused to comply… Twenty-six percent of municipal employees in New York City were still unvaccinated following a Friday deadline that mandated workers get the COVID-19 vaccine. A significant jump in vaccinations occurred among city employees due to the deadline, the city said, according to The Associated Press, but more than 26,000 workers have not uploaded proof of their vaccination status and face unpaid leave as a result. Moving forward, all of the work that those 26,000 workers used to do simply will not get done. Already, a total of 26 fire companies have had to be completely shut down… The FDNY shuttered 26 fire companies citywide on Saturday due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to furious elected officials, who ripped the move as “unconscionable” — and warned it could have catastrophic consequences. So will this cost lives? Of course it will. In fact, a seven-year-old boy just died in an apartment fire… A seven-year-old boy died and his grandmother was seriously injured in an apartment fire in New York City as the FDNY deals with staff shortages in response to a vaccine mandate. Firefighters responded to a 1:30 a.m. call Saturday at a building in Washington Heights, where fire broke out in the building superintendent’s basement apartment. First responders quickly contained and extinguished the fire. Meanwhile, trash is starting to pile up around the city at a very alarming rate… Trash bags can be spotted all over the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, where some residents said that it has been days since their trash was last picked up. A few said they realized something was off earlier in the week, as one missed pickup happens, but they started to think there was a problem after the second missed time. On both residential streets and commercial areas, the trash bags on the sidewalk are piled several feet high in some instances. One resident who has lived in the area for about 40 years said she has never seen the area as dirty as has been the past few days. So what is the city going to look and smell like in a few months once we get into the early portion of 2022? The sad thing is that none of this had to happen. The vaccine mandates are absurd, and they are going to cause enormous problems all over the country. Countless supply chain workers are going to be pulled out of our supply chains in the coming months, and we are already facing painful shortages from coast to coast… Supermarket chains are revamping their operations to navigate persistent product shortages, expanding storage space and curbing discounts to make sure they don’t run out. Companies are planning for shortages of popular brands of food and staples to continue for months and managers are trying to keep up as different products run short from week to week, industry executives said. A lot of Americans are still expecting these shortages to go away eventually, but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is now admitting that there will be supply chain problems “as long as the pandemic continues”… Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the supply chain crisis will continue at least until the COVID-19 pandemic ends amid fears of shortages ahead of the winter holidays. ‘There are definitely going to continue to be issues, especially as long as the pandemic continues,’ Buttigieg told Fox News Sunday. ‘If you have, for example, the third-largest container port in the world in China shutting down because of a COVID outbreak in late summer you’ll feel that in the fall here on the West coast.’ Of course there is no end in sight for the pandemic.  The virus is constantly mutating, and any immunity to it is very temporary. So just like the common cold and the flu, COVID will be with us indefinitely. If Biden administration officials want to reverse recent polling trends, they better find a way to address our supply chain issues, because right now their numbers are really dismal.  Here is just one example… “Americans have lost their confidence in President Joe Biden and their optimism for the country.” That, according to Chuck Todd, is the top takeaway from a just-released NBC News poll out Sunday. Breaking down the numbers on Meet the Press, Todd pointed to data from the survey that he deemed “shocking.” “Just 22 percent of adults say [the U.S. is] headed in the right direction,” Todd reported. “A shocking 71 percent say we’re on the wrong track.” The only surprise from that survey is that there are 22 percent of Americans that are still gullible enough to have a positive outlook. The Democrats have cooked up a recipe for national suicide, and they are setting the stage for so many of the things that I warned about in my latest book. If Joe Biden had any sense, he would rescind all nationwide vaccine mandates immediately. But he isn’t going to do that. And major cities like New York and Los Angeles are not going to rescind their mandates either. So “things are not gonna get done” on an absolutely massive scale in 2022, and we will all suffer deeply as a result. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/01/2021 - 17:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 1st, 2021

Jim Jordan Asks If "Weather" Is Reason Behind American Airlines Flight Cancellations

Jim Jordan Asks If "Weather" Is Reason Behind American Airlines Flight Cancellations After American Airlines Group canceled more than 2,000 flights over the last several days, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asks if the cancellations were actually because of "weather."  Jordan tweeted, "All these flights aren't being canceled because of "the weather.""  All these flights aren’t being canceled because of “the weather.” — Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 1, 2021 As of 1100 ET Monday, American canceled 340 flights, amounting to 6% of its total flights. Over the weekend, the airline scrubbed 1,900 flights, leaving thousands of people trapped at airports across the country.  American blamed severe weather in Dallas, which drove cancellations at other airports. It also said staffing shortages made it more challenging for the airline to recover due to robust demand for air travel.  The latest cancellations from American follow Southwest Airlines, which canceled thousands of flights in early October due to "weather." Still, it turned out that pilots and crew staged a sickout over vaccination mandates and triggered a shortage of staff.  We were the first to cover flight delays or cancellations due to labor shortages among American in mid-August.  The latest Transportation Security Administration checkpoint travel numbers show air travel has nearly recovered from pre-pandemic levels as people take vacations though businesses travel still lacks.  At the same time, airlines, crushed by the pandemic, had to rebuild operations as vaccines quickly made people more comfortable traveling. However, many airlines struggled to bring back workers, such as flight attendants, ground staff, and pilots. Labor shortages are proving to be disruptive even if inclement weather is seen. Vaccine mandates for carriers have also worsened labor woes.  Jordan is right. People should question if "weather" is actually to blame for flight cancellations or if there is something else, such as labor shortages made worse by the vaccine mandate.  Suppose you're going to fly in the near term. Do some research on the carrier you plan to use to see if labor shortages or rebellious crews have staged sickouts because it could ruin your vacation.  Tyler Durden Mon, 11/01/2021 - 15:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 1st, 2021

American Cancels 1,500 Flights On Halloween Weekend, Denies Any Relation To Vaccine Mandate

American Cancels 1,500 Flights On Halloween Weekend, Denies Any Relation To Vaccine Mandate By Zachary Stieber of Epoch Times American Airlines canceled over 1,500 flights between Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, blaming staff shortages and inclement weather. In addition to 340 flights being canceled on Friday, 540 were canceled on Saturday, and 650 were canceled on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Texas-based airline told The Epoch Times in an email. In a letter to employees obtained by The Epoch Times, American’s Chief Operating Officer David Seymour blamed “severe winds” in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with creating the situation. “With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” he said. “To make sure we are taking care of our customers and providing scheduling certainty for our crews, we have adjusted our operation for the last few days this month by proactively canceling some flights.” American projects having the issues resolved soon. The spokeswoman said that the problems aren’t related to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Capt. Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American pilots, also said the cancellations are not linked to the vaccination requirements. Weather was the catalyst, but management failure also contributed, Tajer told The Epoch Times in an email. “Management is failing at the most fundamental part of running an airline. Connecting crews to the airplane. Our employees are suffering this failure as much as passengers as crews are stuck out into their days off while scrambling to find hotels,” he said. “Mother nature generates a storm and management’s failure to properly schedule creates storms days after,” he added. Of the flights canceled on Saturday, all but around a dozen were due to the inability to connect workers to airplanes, Tajer said. American announced the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Oct. 1. “While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines,” Doug Parker, American Airlines chief executive, said in a memorandum that day. Executives at the company later said employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 24 or be fired. Most U.S.-based airlines have imposed mandates, some in response to President Joe Biden’s plans to force private businesses to either get proof of vaccination from employees or require them to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The head of the pilots association warned the White House and Congress last month that mandates could trigger chaos in the near future. Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights earlier this month, leaving many travelers stranded for days. The airline claimed the problems were mostly due to unfavorable weather and not related to the mandate it imposed, though other airlines didn’t suffer problems at the same time and it later delayed a plan to put workers who don’t comply with the vaccination requirements on unpaid leave. In addition to the weekend cancellations from American, the airline delayed hundreds of flights between Friday and Sunday, according to the tracking site FlightAware. That included 73 delays early Oct. 31. American said nearly 1,800 flight attendants who were on leave would be returning to work soon and that it was hiring over 600 more flight attendants, in addition to working to hire 4,000 workers for other positions. “The hiring of pilots and within tech ops continues to take place, and we already began ramping up hiring in reservations so more team members will be in place for the holiday season,” it said. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/31/2021 - 14:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

NYPD"s Largest Police Union Sues Mayor Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

NYPD's Largest Police Union Sues Mayor Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Submitted by the Epoch Times, The largest New York City Police Department union on Monday filed a lawsuit to block a citywide COVID-19 vaccine mandate that’s slated to go into effect by the end of this month. The Police Benevolent Association union sued over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which goes into effect for all police officers and other city workers on Friday, Oct. 29. “The City has provided no explanation, much less a rational one, for the need to violate the autonomy and privacy of NYPD police officers in such a severe manner, on the threat of termination,” the lawsuit said, adding that the current policy to either mandate vaccines or testing for COVID-19 is “sufficient enough.” The current policy requires unvaccinated police officers to be tested weekly for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. “There is no evidence of any widespread COVID-19 infection or transmission by or among NYPD police officers since the ‘vax or test’ policy has been in place,” the suit continued to say. “To the contrary, all evidence establishes that the policy has proven effective, and it has struck the appropriate balance between encouraging vaccination and respecting the medical autonomy of the NYPD officers.” The association’s lawyers further argued that the city’s mandate will also adversely impact officers who have sincere religious or health concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, noting that many of these officers “put their lives on the line” throughout the pandemic. In a Twitter post, the Police Benevolent Association said it also filed a request for a temporary restraining order to stop the city and the NYPD from implementing the vaccine requirement while litigation is pending. City workers, including NYPD officers, who do not get vaccinated before the Oct. 29 deadline will be placed on unpaid leave and face termination from their jobs. A spokesperson for de Blasio’s office told the New York Post that the mayor’s mandate is lawful and claimed it keeps residents safe. The Epoch Times has contacted de Blasio’s office for comment. “Every effort to stop the city’s vaccine mandates has failed in court, and we believe this suit by the PBA will meet the same fate,” the spokesperson said. “The city’s vaccine mandates are lawful and keep New Yorkers safe. We’ll review the case.” De Blasio on Monday echoed a previous claim that officials have “contingencies” for the NYPD and other agencies who lose staff over vaccine mandates. “We’ve seen the mandates move a lot more people to get vaccinated,” he argued. A lawsuit that was filed by Department of Education staff seeking a temporary injunction against a citywide mandate was rejected by a Manhattan federal judge earlier this month. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 17:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Things Are Getting Messy In Draghi"s Italy

Things Are Getting Messy In Draghi's Italy Authored by Nick Corbishley via NakedCapitalism.com, Sixteen percent of the country’s officially employed workforce just lost their jobs (temporarily for the moment). And as one would expect, they’re not happy.   It is a strange experience watching the events currently unfolding in Italy from the relative calm and normality of Catalonia. As I reported in August, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled against the use of covid passports to restrict access to public spaces — specifically hospitality businesses (bars, restaurants and nightclubs). Since then the court has scaled back the ruling, allowing certain regions, including Galicia and Catalonia, to use the digital documents to restrict access to bars and nightclubs. But things are still moving quite slowly though I’m sure they’ll pick up speed soon. Italy, by contrast, has just introduced the strictest rules in Europe. “No Jab, No Job” Writ Large As of last Friday all residents of Italy need a covid passport, or Green Pass, to access not only public spaces but also public and private workplaces. The pass proves that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recovered from the disease in the past six months or have recently tested negative. And now they need it to make a living, to feed their families. The “no jab, no job” rule applies to workers of all kinds, including the self employed, domestic staff and even people working remotely. If you’d still rather not get vaccinated, you have the option of showing proof of a negative test every two days. That can cost anywhere between €15 and €50 each time — far beyond the means of most low-paid workers. If you still refuse to get vaccinated or present proof of negative tests, you face unpaid suspension as well as a fine of up to €1,500. Public sector workers have five days to present the green pass before being suspended. Private sector workers without a green pass face suspension from the first day. Here’s more from Politico (comment and emphasis in brackets my own): By law, all workers must be able to show a so-called Green Pass, proving they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative in the past 48 hours. Roughly 81 percent of Italians over 12 are fully vaccinated. While polls suggest the majority of Italians are in favor of vaccine passes (just as the majority of people in all countries are in favour of vaccine passes, according to polls), there are still 3.8 million unvaccinated workers, many in strategic sectors and public services such as ports, trucking, health care and law enforcement, who will be unable to work. Massive Cull of Workers This is by any measure a massive cull of workers. Three point eight million is more than 5% of Italy’s entire population and over 16% of the country’s officially employed workforce (22.7 million). The total number of people currently unemployed in Italy is 2.3 million. In other words, if none of the unvaccinated workers were to cave in to the government’s demands — some will, of course, we just don’t know how many — the number of people without work in Italy would increase by well over 150% — in the space of just one week! And as the Politico article mentions, many of these workers are in strategic sectors and public services. This is all happening as Europe — and the world at large — faces the worst supply chain crisis in decades as well as acute energy and labor shortages. The move also risks giving a huge boost to Italy’s already quite large informal economy. Given as much, this is a huge, high-stakes bluff on the part of Draghi’s technocratic government, which was formed eighth months ago. If it pays off, the vast majority of Italy’s vaccine holdouts will fall into line and go back to work, and other governments across Europe will follow suit with similar mandates. If it doesn’t, Italy’s economy could be plunged into chaos. So far, data suggest that the government’s “no jab, no job” rule hasn’t exactly had the desired effect. When the rule was initially unveiled, on September 16, Italy’s Public Administration Minister Renato Brunetta said it would trigger such a “huge” boost vaccination take-up that its job would largely be done before it even came into effect. That hasn’t happened. As El Mundo reports, in the week through Oct.8 some 410,000 people received the first dose, according to official data, a 36% drop from the previous week and the lowest weekly count since early July.  Over the last few days the response of many of the affected workers has been to stage rolling strikes and protests across the country. Roads and ports have been blocked. This has coincided with hundreds of flight cancellations due to strikes by workers at the former flagship airline Alitalia, which flew its last flight on Thursday. There have also been violent demonstrations by far-right groups such as Casa Pound and Forza Nuova as well as a 24-hour general strike held last week by unions to protest the government’s labour and economic policies. Since Friday Italy’s largest port, Trieste, 40% of whose employees are unvaccinated, has been an important focal point of industrial action. “There are no blockades, whoever wants to work does,” said Stefano Puzzer, leader of the protest against the health pass in the port of Trieste, on Friday. Yet although the strike was reportedly entirely peaceful and workers who wanted to work were allowed to do so, riot  police yesterday used water cannons and tear gas to evict the longshoremen. One Little Flaw The ostensible logic behind the government’s latest mandate is that by “nudging” almost everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated, it will help the country finally achieve herd immunity and thereby eliminate the virus. Also, work spaces will become much safer places because all workers will either have been fully vaccinated against covid-19, will have natural immunity or will have recently tested negative for the virus. There’s just one little flaw in the plan: the current crop of covid-19 vaccines are rather “leaky”, particularly with regard to the Delta variant. As such, people who are vaccinated are still liable to catch and transmit the virus and in some countries (such as the UK) the vaccinated account for more cases (in nominal terms) than the unvaccinated. In addition, what protection the vaccines do provide tends to wane rapidly. At the peak of Israel’s latest wave of infections, in August, half of the seriously ill hospitalized patients had been fully vaccinated at least five months prior, reported NPR.  Which begs the question: if a vaccinated person and an unvaccinated person have a similar capacity to carry, shed and transmit the virus, particularly in its Delta form and even more so after four of five months after vaccination, what difference does implementing a vaccination passport, certificate or ID actually make to the spread of the virus? Vaccine Passport: An End In and Of Itself? In sum, Italy just unleashed the most severe de facto vaccine mandate in Europe on the basis of a vaccine that doesn’t actually work very well and is still only authorised by the European Medical Agency for emergency use. To give an idea of just how extreme the Draghi government’s position now is, the only other country in the world to have introduced a mandatory Covid passport for all workers is Saudi Arabia, reports Thomas Fazi in a recent article: With these changes, we are effectively stripping citizens who haven’t broken any law whatsoever (in Italy, like elsewhere, Covid vaccines are not mandatory) of their basic constitutional rights — the right to work, to study, to move freely. That should give anyone reason to pause and reflect. This kind of discrimination is also in direct violation of EU Regulation 2021/953, which states that “[t]he issuance of [Covid] certificates… should not lead to discrimination on the basis of the possession of a specific category of certificate”, and that “[i]t is necessary to prevent direct or indirect discrimination against persons who are not vaccinated, for example because of medical reasons… or because they have not yet had the opportunity or chose not to be vaccinated”. This is also echoed by Resolution 2361 (2021) of the Council of Europe. In fact, the word “discrimination” doesn’t even begin to do justice to what we are witnessing in Italy. Representatives of the political, medical and media establishment have openly accused the unvaccinated of being “rats”, “subhumans” and “criminals”, who deserve to be “excluded from public life” and “from the national health service” and even to “die like flies”. Perhaps more worryingly, both prime minister Mario Draghi and the president Sergio Mattarella have accused the unvaccinated of “putting the lives of others at risk” (a claim based on the assumption that the vaccinated aren’t contagious). That claim has now been thoroughly disproved by myriad scientific studies, as Yves painstakingly documented in August. So why do governments continue to repeat it? Why aren’t they rethinking their strategy? Perhaps, as Fazi postulates, the green pass is not just a means to an end — mass vaccination — but also an end in and of itself: The Italian economic-political establishment has a long history of invoking, embellishing or even engineering crises — usually economic in nature — to justify technocratic governments and emergency measures, as well as the sidestepping of the normal channels of democracy. In this sense, it is not outlandish to posit that the country’s elites, under Draghi’s leadership, may view the current conjecture as a golden opportunity to complete the oligarchisation of the country they’ve been working at for the past decades (and in which Mario Draghi has played a central role). A crucial feature of this process has been the transition from a post-war regime based on the centrality of parliament to one dominated by executive, technocratic and supranational powers, in which the legislature performs a marginal role, thus insulating policymaking from democratic processes. As a result, there has been an increased resort to so-called “technical governments” run by “experts” supposedly untainted by political partisanship and unburdened by the complications of parliamentary politics — as well as the transfer of key policy tools from the national level, where a certain degree of democratic control can always potentially be exercised, to the supranational institutions of the EU, which are undemocratic by design. Now Draghi is even being heralded in some quarters as a possible new figurehead for Europe in the post-Merkel era. The financial and economic elite are no doubt salivating at the prospect.   Tyler Durden Wed, 10/20/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 20th, 2021

GOP lawmakers and Trump praised a Southwest Airlines anti-vaccine mandate walkout which authorities say never happened

Conservatives praised Southwest pilots for what they claimed was a vax mandate protest. The airline says the cancellations were caused by the weather. Sen. Ted Cruz. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Conservatives claimed recent Southwest flight cancellations were linked to a staff anti-vaccine mandate protest. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were among those pushing the rumor. Southwest's CEO and the FAA said the cancellations were actually due to technical issues and bad weather. Conservatives are heaping praise on what they claim was an anti-vaccine mandate protest by Southwest Airlines pilots, which authorities say didn't happen.Southwest canceled thousands of flights last weekend, citing bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues.But former President Donald Trump, GOP lawmakers, and right-wing media personalities have for days been pushing unsubstantiated rumors that the cancellations were the result of a walkout by staff protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.As flight cancellations began on Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas claimed without evidence that the situation was actually due to staff shortages linked to the vaccine mandates."Joe Biden's illegal vaccine mandate at work. Suddenly, we're short on pilots & air traffic controllers," he tweeted. Donald Trump Jr, the former president's eldest son, also linked cancellations to a staff vaccine protest in a Sunday tweet."The fact that thousands of Southwest employees walked off the job protesting the COVID vaccine mandate forcing the airline to cancel more than 1000 flights is not getting enough attention. Media will make sure you don't see it but keep watching, it won't be the last protest!" Trump Jr. said.And in a Sunday radio interview, Donald Trump himself speculated that the flight cancellations had to do with staff protesting his election loss last year, as well as vaccine mandates. "I think it has a lot to do with a lot of things. I think it has something to do with the election that was rigged," he said in a radio interview this weekend. "I think these are big fans of your favorite president, I think that this has something to do with that. I think it has something to do with the ... I think it has a lot to do with mandates." A Southwest Boeing 737-800 plane. Steven M. Keller According to the rumors, the cancellations were the result of staff calling in sick en masse in protest at the vaccine mandates. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association had filed a federal court request last Friday for the mandate to be blocked. Southwest, its pilots' union, and the Federal Aviation Authority have denied that there is any truth to the rumors. In a Tuesday CNBC appearance, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said vaccine mandates had "zero" relation to the flight cancellations. "We have some very strong views on that topic, but that's not what was at issue with Southwest over the weekend," said Kelly. Casey Murray, the president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, told The New York Times that the real reason for the cancellations was that there had been problems reassigning thinly-stretched staff to new flights.The Federal Aviation Authority also hit back at the rumors."To be clear: None of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend's cancellations were related to vaccine mandates," it tweeted.Republicans have for months been seeking to damage Biden by attacking COVID-19 vaccine mandates issued by his administration. The mandates were issued over the summer, amid lagging vaccination rates, for federal workers, contractors, and employees of large companies, and have yet to come into effect. Southwest has said it will require staff to follow the mandate and get fully vaccinated by November 24, with exemptions for religious and medical reasons. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

NYC Restaurateurs: Business Down 40-60% Due To Vaccine Mandate

NYC Restaurateurs: Business Down 40-60% Due To Vaccine Mandate By Enrico Trigoso of Epoch Times, New York City restaurateurs are complaining that their business has been slashed severely by the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires people 12 and older to show vaccination proof for indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment. O'Donoghue's Pub and Restaurant in Times Square, N.Y., on Sept. 30, 2021. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times) Pre-pandemic, O’Donoghue’s Pub and Restaurant was a successful business that has been open for 10 years in Times Square, Manhattan. Fergal Burke, the owner of O’Donoghue’s noticed that his business has seen “a massive drop,” since the vaccine mandate came into effect. “We don’t have the money here to survive without the help of our landlord, [who] has been very supportive and has been giving us breaks on the rent, but without our landlord, we would not be in business,” Burke told The Epoch Times. He said that he needed to hire another person to be at the door checking for vaccination proof, which increased his expenses. Comparing the clientele from pre-mandate to when it kicked in about two weeks ago, “Our business is definitely down 50, I’m going to say 60 percent,” Burke said with a somewhat downhearted tone. “There’s just not people coming into the restaurant, they have the fear of being asked for vaccines.” Burke and his staff have had to refuse a lot of customers for not having the passes. “They’re being refused and they get a resentment against us, they don’t get a resentment against Bill de Blasio or Biden, or whoever is mandating us to check for this.” “It comes as a personal rejection,” he said, further stressing that it’s not O’Donoghue’s that wants this. “We don’t want this mandate, we want nothing to do with this.” He also noted how the subway is full of people but there’s no requirement to show vaccination proof. “I mean how is that fair in New York City, that the trains are jammed with people with a silly mask on and they’re not being mandated to show nothing, and yet they’re coming against the heart of the city. We’re the ones that’s trying to keep 20 people employed here,” Burke said. “We will go out of business if this continues, it’s gonna force us to shut our doors.” Despite winter coming soon, they now need to build an outdoor dining area to facilitate an outdoor space, which will cost about 10 to $15,000. Luke’s Lobster in Manhattan, N.Y., on Oct. 1, 2021. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times) Some restaurants like Luke’s Lobster have been less affected by the vaccine mandates since their restaurant has little indoor dining space and is located near a park and many outdoor tables on Broadway. The manager there told The Epoch Times that people are mostly compliant, and if anyone can’t dine-in due to lack of proof, they will go to the tables outside. “Some people are obviously not super happy about it but they will comply and if they don’t want to comply they’ll take it outside,” she said. ‘No One Size Fits All’ Restauranteur Stratis Morfogen, a managing partner at Brooklyn Chop House, thinks that the government needs to start considering bailouts to help the restaurant industry again. “Business is down probably 50 percent because people are not comfortable with being forced to take a vaccine,” Morfogen told The Epoch Times. “All of a sudden, we dropped 40 percent from week to week, since the mandate started. “The politicians don’t understand it is that there is no one size fits all with medicine. And you can’t tell a person has just finished chemotherapy, that they have to take a vaccine to have a dinner, when their doctor says they can’t.” Morfogen said that now they have to police COVID-19 vaccination cards, most of which are written in pen. He says 2 million were distributed before the city implemented a central database. “It’s as smart as my 1983 driver’s permit. My daughter who is 13 can print out one of the fakes on her bedroom printer and you want me to question the customers if this card is legitimate, when every one of them is pretty much is written in pen?” Morfogen said that his business did fairly well during COVID-19 and survived the restaurant crisis, but that he feels a responsibility to speak up. “Nobody steps up for the little guys,” he said. “I’m not fighting for myself. I’m fighting for the ones that don’t have a platform that are getting screwed by these politicians every day.” “The Counter” custom burger shop in Times Square, N.Y., on Aug. 7, 2021. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times) The manager of custom burger restaurant The Counter located in Times Square told The Epoch Times that “everyone is losing thousands of dollars,” and that they will go out of business due to the vaccine mandate. “The mayor is a jerk,” she said. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/02/2021 - 12:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 2nd, 2021

Biden"s Vax Mandate To Be Enforced By Fining Companies $70,000 To $700,000?

Biden's Vax Mandate To Be Enforced By Fining Companies $70,000 To $700,000? By Adam Andrzejewski, CEO/Founder of OpenTheBooks.com; originally published in Forbes President Joe Biden didn’t just announce a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on companies employing 100 or more people, he plans to enforce it. On Saturday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House quietly tucked an enforcement mechanism into their $3.5 trillion “reconciliation” bill, passed it out of the Budget Committee, and sent it to the House floor. Buried on page 168 of the House Democrats’ 2,465-page mega bill is a tenfold increase in fines for employers that “willfully,” “repeatedly,” or even seriously violate a section of labor law that deals with hazards, death, or serious physical harm to their employees. The increased fines on employers could run as high as $70,000 for serious infractions, and $700,000 for willful or repeated violations—almost three-quarters of a million dollars for each fine. If enacted into law, vax enforcement could bankrupt non-compliant companies even more quickly than the $14,000 OSHA fine anticipated under Biden’s announced mandate. The Biden Administration has already started implementing its vaccine mandate enforcement blueprint: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set precedent this summer and published an emergency Covid-19 rule in the Federal Register taking jurisdiction over and providing justification for Covid-19 being a workplace hazard for healthcare employment. Early in September, Biden announced his 100-or-more employee Covid-19 vaccine mandate and tasked OSHA with drafting an enforcement rule to exert emergency vaccine compliance authority over companies with 100 or more employees. The legislative provision that passed the Budget Committee raises the OSHA fines for non-compliance 10 times higher – and up to $700,000 for each “willful” or “repeated” violation. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new OSHA fines. If the legislation is enacted, OSHA could levy draconian fines to enforce Biden’s vaccine mandate, a move that could rapidly bankrupt non-compliant companies. The Biden mandate affects employers collectively employing an estimated 80 million workers. The Democrats are playing hardball.                       President Biden embraced an aggressive stance earlier this month when he challenged Republicans who are threatening lawsuits over what they decry as his federal overreach: “Have at it. … We’re playing for real here. This isn’t a game.” The Legislation The provision tucked in the House reconciliation budget bill (on page 168) that increases OSHA fines reads: SEC. 21004. ADJUSTMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES. (a) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970.—Section 17 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 666) is amended— (1) in subsection (a)—   (A) by striking ‘‘$70,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$700,000’’; and (B) by striking ‘‘$5,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$50,000’’; (2) in subsection (b), by striking ‘‘$7,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$70,000’’; and (3) in subsection (d), by striking ‘‘$7,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$70,000’’ That provision would change existing law relating to OSHA’s enforcement fines, the very same section of law whose fines OSHA referenced in its June Covid-19 healthcare worker rule and is likely to use again to enforce its forthcoming vaccine compliance rules. The Existing Law 29 U.S.C.§ 666 lays out OSHA enforcement fine levels. The 1970-enacted law reads: 29 U.S. Code § 666 - Civil and criminal penalties (a) Willful or repeated violation Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of section 654 of this title, any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 655 of this title, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $70,000 for each violation, but not less than $5,000 for each willful violation (b) Citation for serious violation Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of section 654 of this title, of any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 655 of this title, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each such violation [emphasis added]. Each year, OSHA adjusts these penalties for inflation, so for 2021, the fines are not actually capped at $70,000 and $7,000, but $136,532 and $13,653 per violation. If House Democrats get their way, by enacting the page 168 changes, those fines would increase to $700,000 for willful and repeated violations and $70,000 for serious violations.   Section 654, cross-referenced in the OSHA enforcement penalty code, outlines the law requiring workplaces to be “free from recognized hazards” causing harm or death: 29 U.S. Code § 654 - Duties of employers and employees (a) Each employer— (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter. (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to his own actions and conduct [emphasis added]. OSHA has already published a rule this year claiming Covid-19 is a workplace hazard, and the agency is using this provision of law to assert and enforce its authority. It is likely the new rule to enforce Biden’s mandate will also use this authority, and by extension use the fines upon enforcement. Huge Crippling OSHA Fines, Likely By Design The crippling change described on page 168 of the Democrats’ bill isn’t a typo or a clerical error. It was inserted by design and, likely, with the hope that no one would notice before Democrats ram the bill through Congress. If enacted, it could bankrupt a whole host of companies that do not believe they should have to comply with the Biden administration’s mandate or harbor the cost of intrusive, weekly tests. In its June 2021 emergency rule affecting health care workers, OSHA complained it was having a hard time motivating employers with its paltry $13,653 fine: “OSHA has been limited in its ability to impose penalties high enough to motivate the very large employers who are unlikely to be deterred by penalty assessments of tens of thousands of dollars, but whose noncompliance can endanger thousands of workers …” The Critics Some have openly discussed businesses defying the mandate and taking their risks with OSHA fines. For example, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) tweeted that businesses “should openly rebel” against any OSHA rule. It’s one thing to defy a $14,000 fine. It’s quite another to risk incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. One or two disgruntled employees, for example, could bring an employer $70,000-$140,000 in OSHA fines. If considered “willful,” as per Rep. Roy’s tweet — just three “violations” could quickly become a $2.1 million OSHA fine. Conclusion: If its provision becomes law, the Biden administration may force American businesses to choose between vaccinating their employees, testing them weekly for Covid-19, or going bankrupt under crippling OSHA fines. In September, Biden warned the tens of millions of Americans who have declined vaccination against Covid-19, “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.” Now the Democrats in the House are hoping to make employers foot the bill for that “cost” in the form of fines and bankruptcy. Republicans might want to read page 168 of the Democrats’ bill. After all, as we like to say at OpenTheBooks.com, the text of the bill is online in real time. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 22:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 29th, 2021