The Detroit Three automakers are requiring that all hourly and salaried workers in Canada be vaccinated against COVID-19, but they are not requiring the same of the U.S. workforce — although discussions about the possibility are happening.
General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis, formerly called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reiterated Wednesday they strongly encourage employees in the U.S., who are eligible to get a vaccine, to do so. That came just hours after the automakers announced the mandate for Canada.
A Ford spokeswoman told the Free Press that Ford has already "designated some roles where we require the vaccine. In the U.S., we are assessing the new executive actions to determine what adjustments need to be taken to our current vaccination policy as we continue to prioritize the safety of our employees."
The Detroit Three, and other businesses with at least 100 employees, may soon get direction on a COVID-19 workplace vaccination and testing mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On Tuesday, OSHA sent its emergency temporary standard to the White House for final review.
On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden said OSHA would issue a standard requiring those businesses to mandate their workers be vaccinated or do weekly testing for the virus. Workers would get paid time off to get the shots and recover from any side effects. Employers that don't comply with the vaccine mandate or paid-time-off requirement could be fined up to $14,000 per violation. The rule will impact more than 80 million workers, the White House said.
Effective Dec. 17, Stellantis will require all employees, contractors, service providers and visitors to its sites in Canada to be fully vaccinated and provide proof, as recommended by Canada's Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer.
For the U.S., Stellantis spokesperson Shawn Morgan said, "As part of our protocol, all U.S. employees have been asked to self-certify their vaccination status since spring. We are continuing to monitor the situation and, in partnership with the UAW, evaluating additional actions to take in the best interest of employee health and safety."
Ford did not immediately provide an effective date for its vaccine mandate in Canada.
GM Canada said in a statement Wednesday that effective Dec. 12, all employees and visitors to GM facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated.