In the months since President Joe Biden took office, more than a few Americans who endorsed and voted for him have expressed disappointment in the way he has governed.
Among the notable recent examples came in the form of a statement from the American Postal Workers Union, which endorsed Biden last year but now stands in opposition to his order requiring all federal workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or work under significant restrictions.
“Not the role of the federal government”
According to the union, such a sweeping move is not what its members expected from Biden. The statement insisted that the federal government should not force workers to receive a shot against their wishes.
The direct rebuke came on Wednesday amid rumors that the president was prepared to announce his plan impacting all federal workers.
“Maintaining the health and safety of our members is of paramount importance,” the union said. “While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.”
Flexing its own muscle in the debate, the union asserted that all issues “related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU.”
The statement left little doubt about the union’s position, adding: “At this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers.”
“Elections have consequences”
Of course, the union proudly endorsed Biden over former President Donald Trump just over a year ago. It is unclear whether its members are experiencing buyer’s remorse in regard to any other White House policies.
In making the case for Biden during the presidential election cycle, the union cited his longstanding support for unions and union workers as well as his opposition to the Trump-backed idea of privatizing at least parts of the U.S. Postal Service.
As part of the federal workforce, however, they now face coercion to receive a vaccine that would have been unlikely had Trump won re-election.
As the Biden administration explained, the new rule will require federal workers — and, in the near future, contractors — to verify their vaccination status or undergo regular COVID-19 testing, remain socially distanced, and wear a mask at all times.
Although a significant number of postal workers clearly do not want to be forced into receiving a shot, the president their union supported is all but mandating that they do so. In effect, he is demonstrating what his old boss, former President Barack Obama, meant when he declared that “elections have consequences.”