United States

Watch large protest of firefighters erupts in NYC to oppose vaccine mandate

17:49, 29 October 2021
Watch large protest of firefighters erupts in NYC to oppose vaccine mandate Photo: Lev Radin/Global Look Press

Roughly all municipal workers of New York City have gathered outside the mayor’s residence on Thursday to protest the vaccination mandate within which the employees must show proof of getting at least one dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

Firefighters, police officers along with sanitation workers, and others have to prove they are vaccinated until 5 pm Friday, otherwise those who didn’t would be placed on unpaid leave for a period of a minimum of 30 days. The further employment of the removed workers will be considered by the individual labor unions. The deadline for correction officers to provide the proof of vaccination was set to December 1.

Thursday's anti-vaccine rally was reportedly organized by the firefighter's union and welcomed lots of employers who disagreed with the mandate rules. The whole block before the Gracie Mansion, where Mayor Bill De Blasio resides was filled with the protestors. Some of the gathered carried placards with scriptures “My body my choice,” “Coercion is not consent,” “Essential Workers aren’t Disposable Heroes,” and others.

Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York President Andrew Ansbro has commented on the case saying that numerous union members were “struggling to make this decision.” 

The deadline of showing the proof of vaccination was announced recently enough, on October 20, so James McCarthy, the head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association said that there is a short time “to make a retirement decision if you are going to retire from this job.”

The deadline may cause a serious shortage of manpower if 3,500 employees who are currently unvaccinated will be prohibited to get to work, Ansbro warned. As of now, there are 65% of vaccinated workers, the FDNY reported.

Bill De Blasio decided on Thursday not to change its agenda related to vaccine mandates.

“My job is to keep people safe, my employees, and 8,8 million people, and until we defeat COVID, people are not safe. If we don't stop COVID, New Yorkers will die. We must, must stop COVID and the way to do that is vaccination. And that must include our public employees,” the Mayor said during a press briefing.