Many business groups are critical of al-Qaeda – News Couple

Many business groups are critical of al-Qaeda

Several business groups expressed concern about President Joe Biden’s mandate for a Covid vaccine Thursday, arguing that the requirements will burden businesses during the busy holiday season as they rush to meet an implementation deadline that comes shortly after New Year’s Day.

The mandate, which applies to companies with 100 or more workers, requires US companies to ensure their employees have had a vaccination, or face regular testing, by January 4.

However, all unvaccinated workers must start wearing masks indoors a month before December 5, according to new rules from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, of the Department of Labor.

OSHA will also conduct workplace compliance inspections, with penalties for rule violations ranging from $13,653 to $136,532.

The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which both called for a 90-day implementation period during meetings with White House officials last month, said the mandate would weigh heavily on their members during the busy holiday shopping season.

“Since the president announced the mandate of the vaccine to the private sector, the seven-day average number of cases in the United States has more than halved,” said David French, NRF’s vice president for government relations.

“Nevertheless, the Biden administration has chosen to declare a ‘state of emergency’ and impose onerous new requirements on retailers during the crucial holiday shopping season,” French said.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association described the enforcement period as “insufficient” and said potential fines for non-compliance were “unnecessary and unhelpful”, warning that it “ Putting the government against private sector employers rather than working with them to create a safe work environment. “

“While delegating to private employers technically begins after the holiday, the time to plan the design and implementation of delegating will fall during the busiest part of the shopping season,” the association said in a statement Thursday.

The National Federation of Independent Business said OSHA’s new mandate makes it “more difficult and inconvenient” for small business owners to operate in an already challenging environment.

“NFIB continues to oppose this rule that restricts the freedom of small business owners to decide how best to run their own business and imposes undue burdens on small businesses that further threaten small business recovery,” said Karen Harnd, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business. Legal Center, in a statement Thursday.

Senior administration officials said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will help companies comply with the mandate, by providing sample implementation plans, fact sheets and other forms of outreach.

The Biden administration has also pushed back the deadline for federal contractors to comply with a stricter set of vaccine requirements for employees until January 4 from December 8, to match the deadline set for other private companies and health care providers.

Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten welcomed the mandate extension for federal contractors, stressing that “implementation is a critical issue” and reiterated calls for the Biden administration to be flexible with businesses.

He noted difficulties with employee retention, supply chain challenges ahead of the holiday and “the complexities involved for many businesses” that have to comply with new federal and private health rules.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which describes itself as the world’s largest business organization, appeared in a statement in favor of “significant adjustments” made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the vaccine mandate “that reflect concerns raised by the business community.”

The group said it would focus on “helping our members ensure their employees are vaccinated,” and that it would raise “operational and enforcement issues” for employers to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The National Association of Manufacturers is concerned about “unnecessary cost burdens” while implementing the mandate. Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, called on the Biden administration to be flexible.

“Federal vaccine requirements need to be flexible enough to ensure that we can achieve these goals, and we appreciate OSHA taking many of our inputs into account,” Timmons said.

“We are still reviewing the rule, but we will continue to share manufacturers’ views and experiences with management to ensure that our members do not face undue cost burdens and other potential disruptions,” he said.

In a statement, the United Auto Workers union cited the complexity of implementing the new Covid-related mandates, saying: “We will review more than 700 employer contracts and see how this rule affects existing protocols at different worksites as well as any impacts on the terms of our existing contracts.”

Federal contractors subject to the stricter mandate include large airlines such as American, Southwest and Delta, which transport US mail and government employees, as well as Boeing, IBM, and others.

Labor unions for pilots in America and the Southwest have been particularly vocal against the mandate, saying it should be a medical decision for every pilot. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association sought to block implementation of the mandate, but a federal judge in Texas rejected that request last week and dismissed the union’s lawsuit.

Both labor unions welcomed the postponement for federal contractors. “We are pleased to hear that the Biden administration has heard labor and industry concerns about the deadline that will occur before the busy holiday season,” Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airmen’s Guild, said in a statement. “While the mandate remains worrisome, this new date will certainly give SWA an opportunity to better plan and negotiate with SWAPA regarding the protocols surrounding the mandate and how it affects our pilot programs.”

Southwest said it was reviewing the updated guidance but did not say whether it would delay the internal deadline for vaccinations.

Late last month, some of the country’s largest unions pushed the Biden administration to expand vaccine authorization plans to include more employee protections. That group included the AFL-CIO and United Food and Commercial Workers, both of whom argued in a lawsuit against the Biden administration that OSHA’s Covid safety standards were inadequate.

Marc Pironi, president of the international soccer body FIFA, said on Thursday that while the new mandate did not go far enough, it did provide a “critical first step to keeping workers safe on the job”.

“The harsh reality is that this epidemic is not over yet,” Pironi said.

CNBC’s Melissa Rybko contributed to this report.

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