FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for the Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
October 19, 2021
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Executives with United Parcel Service Inc, Walt Disney Co and other companies are expected to meet with White House officials on Tuesday to discuss President Joe Biden’s plan to require that private-sector workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations, according to public filings.
The mandate would apply to businesses with 100 or more employees, and would affect about 80 million workers nationwide.
Several industry sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the rulemaking process was moving with urgency and they expect the mandate to be formally announced as early as this week. It was not clear how much time employers will have to implement it.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been meeting with several influential business lobbying groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Business Roundtable as part of its rulemaking process. The meetings were requested by the trade groups and companies.
Tuesday’s meetings were disclosed in filings with the White House.
Many of the groups have raised concerns such as labor shortages and how regulation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could worsen existing supply-chain problems facing U.S. companies ahead of the holiday shopping season. Other topics, such as testing requirements and who will bear the cost, were raised.
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Biden’s plan has drawn a mixed reaction from industry trade groups and companies.
Several big employers including Procter & Gamble Co and 3M Co, along with airlines such as American and JetBlue, have imposed vaccination mandates since Biden’s announcement last month. Others such as IBM have said they will require all U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, no matter how often they come into the office.
Some other large U.S. employers, such as Walmart Inc, have yet to issue broad requirements.
The vaccine order has spurred pushback from many Republican governors, including Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott of Texas, who issued an executive order banning businesses in his state from requiring vaccinations for employees.
The mandate will be implemented under a federal rule-making mechanism known as an emergency temporary standard.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis)