On December 14, AGC of America and two of its chapters, the Dallas-based TEXO chapter of the association, and the statewide AGC of Texas chapter, filed suit in federal court to block the Biden administration’s effort to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors and subcontractors. AGC noted that many of its members that regularly construct federal projects are already being harmed, as key employees leave for other jobs in the industry to avoid the strict federal mandate. AGC’s filing includes a motion for a temporary restraining order and statements from a number of contractors detailing the damages they have already begun to experience because of the new federal contractor vaccine mandate. That mandate is different from the broader vaccine mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has sought to impose on all firms that employ 100 or more people. That rule gives workers the option to be tested weekly, instead of being vaccinated. AGC filed a legal challenge against that “emergency” OSHA standard in November.
“We are as eager as anyone to see more construction workers become fully vaccinated,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC’s chief executive officer. “But imposing a strict mandate on a small sector of the construction industry will only drive vaccine-hesitant workers out of that sector, and to one of the many other sectors also desperate for more workers.”
Sandherr added that even as the association challenges the administration’s two coronavirus vaccine mandates, it continues to work to encourage all construction workers to get vaccinated. AGC recently released a series of public service ads featuring construction workers who nearly died from the virus, urging their peers to get vaccinated. AGC has been urging its members to show the videos to all their workers and is also placing ads featuring the videos in key construction markets. AGC also created a vaccine toolkit for the industry.
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