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IBEW System Council U8
We Energize Florida
UPDATE Vaccine Mandates Update
Updated On: Nov 17, 2021

Sisters and Brothers,

On Thursday of last week, the Company notified the Union that they will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in accordance with the OSHA standard for private businesses with 100 or more employees. System Council U8 believes this is premature in that the mandate is currently being litigated and may ultimately be deemed illegal and unconstitutional. Because any mandate is a mandatory subject of bargaining, the Union also considers the implementation of this policy a unilateral change of terms and conditions of employment and has filed a grievance as well as a Request to Bargain over the implementation and effects of the mandate. 

*11-17-2021* Because the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a preliminary injunction blocking OSHA's enforcement of its Emergency Temporary Standard, Duke Energy will not implement the enhanced masking requirement or the weekly testing compliance plan for unvaccinated employees unless and until the injunction is lifted.

Understand, no one wants to be in the current situation; not Duke Energy, not the IBEW, not SCU8, and certainly not our members. System Council U8 shares Duke Energy's desire to keep every employee safe and free of workplace hazards. However, we also believe a vaccine is an individual choice and no one should have to choose between their health and their livelihood, especially when the Florida Bargaining Unit employees have continued generating, transmitting and distributing electrical energy every single day throughout the pandemic. 

Should this mandate ultimately be deemed legal and constitutional in any form, the Union will continue fighting to ensure it is implemented in a fair and impartial manner. In the meantime, please continue working safely and keep your mind on the things you can control and manage.

Thank you.

Fraternally yours,

Phil


IBEW System Council U8
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