JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—As Covid-19 numbers rise nationwide, companies are deciding whether or not to require a vaccine mandate. President Joe Biden wants to require workers at companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated – or get tested for the virus weekly.
Today around 100 people gathered outside of the Consumers Energy Headquarters in downtown Jackson. They’re rallying against a potential federal vaccine mandate at work and working to make sure their voices are heard.
“I love Consumers Energy, and I love what I do and I love the people that I work with. If I’m forced to make a choice I will walk away,” said Grid Management Trainer, Charles Lang.
Lang says, he became concerned back in September when the President announced a vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees— including utility companies.
“Taking a shot that we do not know what the end result would be. It’s too new. It’s been rushed through and many of us do not believe that it is safe.”
More than 442 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given to people in the US, with medical leaders like the CDC encouraging people that the vaccine is safe.
Consumers Energy says they never implemented the mandate but did want employees to submit an exemption for why an employee won’t get vaccinated. Now after a change at the Federal level, utility companies do not have to require vaccines, so now workers don’t have to submit that exemption.
The company tells six news that they are currently evaluating the next steps and will continue to provide transparent, timely communications to coworkers as information becomes available. In the meantime, employees have the right to peacefully gather.
Lang says he hopes today’s rally sends a strong message for their right to choose.
“We would ask you to stand up for us. To protect us and to stand up for the rights of all of your employees.”