On his way out of office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has shown no hesitation in forcing a deeply unpopular vaccine mandate on every city worker, many of whom have decided to defy the order to the end. The Mayor’s mandate came when workers were already exhausted by progressive policies that crippled the police department’s ability to do its work and pushed unnecessary diversity requirements into every part of city government.
Adding insult to injury, De Blasio made sure to structure the mandate so that workers are not only threatened with immediate termination but also will find themselves ineligible for unemployment benefits if they refuse the jab.
It is unknown, of course, how city employees voted as a group, but Democrat Eric Adams handily defeated Republican Curtis Sliwa with 66.5 percent of the vote.
Adams promised to revisit the vaccine mandate for city employees as he spoke on Wednesday. He did say that he would not “step on De Blasio’s toes” on the matter before he was sworn into office. The mayor-elect said that he planned to meet with union leaders, “and we’re going to get this resolved.”
Adams said that he would still like to see De Blasio resolve the dispute for now but added that he is “going to bring about a resolution when he takes over.” He added that he felt that De Blasio’s problem has been failing to “sit down with the unions, the leadership.” For the time being, Adams said that he does not want “Monday-morning-quarterback” De Blasio, as this is “his time to be the man.”
Adams also stated that he planned on being a pro-business mayor, stating that currently, “people are afraid to do business in the city.” He promised a “new mandate” for city agencies to look for ways to keep businesses open rather than figuring out how to close them down.
As of De Blasio’s deadline last Friday, many city workers had not complied. Around 53,000 workers had refused to comply, making up 14 percent of the total workforce, including 28 percent of firefighters, 16 percent of police officers and EMS personnel, and 24 percent of sanitation workers.