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28 Oct, 2021 03:44

NYC firefighter union boss calls on members to DEFY city’s vaccine mandate & ‘report for duty’ regardless of vax status

NYC firefighter union boss calls on members to DEFY city’s vaccine mandate & ‘report for duty’ regardless of vax status

A major firefighter’s union in New York City has urged its members to show up for work even if they are unvaccinated, effectively asking them to defy the Big Apple’s controversial new Covid vaccine mandate for public employees.

“I have told my members that if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty,” Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said during a Wednesday press conference. He added that many firefighters in the city feel “insulted” by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest mandate, which will take effect on Friday.

If they are told they cannot work, it will be the department and city of New York that sends them home. And it will be the department and the city of New York that has failed to protect the citizens of New York.

Also on rt.com WATCH: City employees in New York march across Brooklyn Bridge, stall traffic, in protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandate

While the city already had a mandate in place for public employees, de Blasio’s most recent order eliminated a test-out option, which previously allowed workers to provide negative Covid tests in lieu of proof of vaccination. Now, tens of thousands of city employees must show they’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine by 5pm on Friday; those who fail to comply could face unpaid leave.

The new order has already prompted heated protests from affected workers, with thousands of cops, firefighters and other city employees taking to the streets on Monday to oppose the mandate – at one point shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge.

The New York City Fire Department employs about 17,000 people in total, including firefighters, medical staff and other non-emergency personnel, according to department data cited by Reuters. While around 68% of the department’s workforce has been immunized, given current vaccination rates, New York could still see up to 20% of its fire units forced to shut down due to the mandate, and the department has predicted a 20% reduction in ambulance services. 

During a recent interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Ansbro suggested the impact could be even greater, saying that “up to 45% of the New York City Fire Department” could be sent home over their vaccination status when the mandate takes effect. 

I’m telling my members to go to work, stay at work, and when [the city begs] you to come back and get on the rigs – get on the rigs.

Though the Uniformed Firefighters Association and other local unions have launched lawsuits challenging the mayor’s order, a New York judge ruled in the government’s favor on Wednesday, stating that the mandate for municipal workers can go ahead as planned while rejecting a police union’s request for a temporary restraining order against the policy.

Also on rt.com Better late than never? NYC mayor announces last-minute vaccine mandate for ALL city workers

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