New York City workers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented last October 20.
Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented a new COVID-19 mandate to increase the vaccination rate in the city. The order requires the city’s municipal employees to get vaccinated before November 1, or they’ll lose their paychecks.
Mayor de Blasio praised city employees in a media availability on October 20 for their impressive work during the pandemic. He then asked them to “lead the way” in getting vaccinated. He is hopeful that this would positively affect the vaccination rate, just like the previous mandate, which urged health care workers and school personnel to get vaccinated.
Beginning November 1, City employees must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and cannot rely on weekly tests. Additionally, those who got vaccines will receive an extra $500 in their paychecks, while unvaccinated employees will be on unpaid leave.
According to the New York Times, approximately 46,000 police officers, firefighters, and other city employees have not yet got the vaccine. With thousands of unvaccinated employees and the lack of time, the mandate could result in workforce shortages.
City Workers Anti-Mandate Protest
Mayor de Blasio’s mandate led to a protest of thousands of city employees on Monday in Brooklyn Bridge. The protest was billed as an anti-mandate rally on behalf of over 50,000 unvaccinated City employees. Vaccinated and unvaccinated police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and other city employees participated in the protest.
Protesters said they were willing to disobey the City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Curtis Sliwa, a mayoral candidate, attended the protest and stated his opposition to de Blasio’s mandates. According to Sliwa, employees should be encouraged and not threatened. He added that weekly testing should be allowed for employees who can’t or won’t get vaccinated.