On Monday, New York City confirmed that it had fired 1,430 municipal workers for refusing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“The workers who were let go fell into two categories: new hires who got their first dose but never submitted proof of their second dose, and staff who were placed on leave without pay and opted out of their health coverage because they refused to get vaccinated,” Politico reported. “The city fired just two workers in the first category and 1,428 employees in the second. Another almost 1,000 city workers in the second category who were on leave without pay chose to get the shot before the termination deadline last week.”
“Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them,” Democrat Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, according to Politico.
“Out of all the new city employees who received notices two weeks ago, only two who worked last week are no longer employed by the city. I’m grateful to all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the greatest city in the world,” he added.
The mass firings come as New York City continues to struggle to economically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with an unemployment rate that is double the national average.
“The city’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent is more than double the national average, and its decline in recent months was largely caused by people dropping out of the labor force,” The New York Times reported at the end of 2021.
According to New York State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, New York City cannot handle the cost of losing any workers.
“We want to make sure that New York is a place that you want to live, you want to go to school here, we want you to go to school here, we want you to work here, we want you to stay here – I hope that this Mayor will do the right thing, I believe that he will,” Vanel said.
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