Manufacturers' association said accommodations would be made for staff who cannot be vaccinated for medical and religious reasons
July 30, 2021
By Walt Williams
The National Association of Manufacturers will require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment starting in mid-September, although employees with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving the vaccine will be able to work with the organization to find a solution best for them.
NAM is the first association to publicly announce a vaccine mandate for staff. CEO Jay Timmons made the announcement the same day President Joe Biden declared that federal workers must be vaccinated against the disease or face regular COVID testing and work restrictions. The association notified staff about the new policy a week earlier.
“The lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines were made for us, by people like us—manufacturers in the United States,” Timmons said in a July 29 statement. “They are proven, safe and the only way we can save lives, end the pandemic and sustain our economic recovery.”
NAM and its workforce development arm, The Manufacturing Institute, have pushed for wider vaccine acceptance through a public relations campaign, This is Our Shot. Timmons has also spoken publicly about the death of his father last year from COVID-19, urging others to take steps to prevent transmission of the disease.
In an interview with CEO Update, Linda Kelly, senior vice president, legal, general counsel and corporate secretary for NAM, pointed to her association's efforts to encourage more people to get the vaccine. She also noted that many of NAM's manufacturer members continued to operate through the pandemic. Most of those workers didn't have the option of working from home