Industry Leaders Worry About Vaccine Mandate Effect on Supply

Photo by 1600 Daily Staff Writer showing a Giant Food store in the DC area completely out of eggs

Empty shelves are common once again in stores across the United States. A string of bad weather, Omicron cases, and product recalls are being blamed for the latest shortages. Industry leaders, however, see it as just another part of ongoing pandemic-related labor struggles. The number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs rose again to 4.5 million in November. Those unfilled positions exacerbate the shortage driven further by Omicron infections sweeping the meatpacking workforce despite near 100% vaccination rates.

According to NBC News:

“Because of the absences that we do have, combined with the labor shortage in this industry, you are seeing the lines are running slower than they were,” Mark Lauritsen, international vice president for meatpacking at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said. “[Meatpacking plants] tend to find enough through rearranging staff to keep the slaughter side fully staffed, but then there isn’t always enough on the other side of the plant — the processing side.”

Though the meatpacking industry has voluntarily instituted its own vaccine mandates to a great deal of success, Jon Samson and some other industry leaders said they are concerned the vaccine mandate pushed by the Biden administration could make the labor problems worse because it would not allow them to hire unvaccinated workers.

Ed Cinco, director of purchasing at Schwebel’s Baking Co., said his company of about 800 employees in Ohio has struggled with labor shortages through the pandemic. He said “if the vaccine mandate goes through, it’s going to be bad” for his ability to hire and maintain his current workforce.

“I have people who work here that are not vaccinated that can retire and will retire if they force it,” he said. “When that happens, it’s going to be really bad.”

While they hope the latest shortages will be short-lived, industry leaders are cautious that spring weather could bring further delays followed by an active hurricane season that could upend supply chains. Their best advice? Call stores to check stock before leaving your home.

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4 months ago

Yep, anyone not vaccinated who is of retirement age will decide to retire. The vaccine isn’t working – look at the number of cases! In fact, studies are showing the vaccinated are at GREATER risk of getting covid than the unvaccinated!
Any company that put in their own mandates is stupid! They will end up facing the consequences. People are looking for jobs, but often they are asked if they are vaccinated and that ends the job interview. They are shooting themselves over this mandate instead of standing up for freedom!

4 months ago

Ole Barack was right for once: poor old Joe (aka Brandon) really does have a rare talent, an ‘ability to f*** things up.’ Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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