Union autoworkers don't have to disclose vaccination status yet

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

The United Auto Workers' COVID-19 joint task force with Detroit's three automakers is keeping disclosure of vaccination status voluntary while urging workers and their families to get the shot and booster.

After a meeting on Monday night, the UAW said it aligned with the companies on "voluntary and confidential" disclosure of vaccination status for members for which the union has advocated amid pressure, including from the federal government, for mandatory vaccinations as COVID-19 cases climb. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis NV will communicate to employees how, where and when they can report vaccination status. Masks also will remain a requirement for the workplace.

Charrise Staten, United Auto Workers benefits representative at Stellantis NV's Belvidere Assembly Plan in Illinois, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the automaker's health and wellness center there.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week said it's delayed enforcing an emergency temporary standard that would require employees at businesses with 100 or more workers be vaccinated or get tested weekly starting Jan. 4. The delay is in effect until litigation challenges are resolved after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a stay on the emergency rules. The UAW task force says it will monitor any legal or procedural changes from OSHA or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The Task Force continues to urge all members, coworkers, and their families to get vaccinated and get booster vaccinations against COVID-19, while understanding that there are personal reasons that may prevent some members from being vaccinated, such as health issues or religious beliefs," the task force said in a statement.

The decision comes after Stellantis last week said it was mandating non-represented, salaried workers in the United States to disclose their vaccination status by Dec. 4 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 5. It follows a similar decision from Ford earlier this month applied to "most" salaried workers by Dec. 8. GM hasn't instituted a mandate on its salaried U.S. workforce, though all three have implemented a mandate deadline next month for all workers in Canada.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz USA, based in Atlanta, also has said it's requiring employees be vaccinated by Jan. 4.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble