Message from BM/ST JD Fitch about the recent increase in mandatory testing and vaccination.

Dear Brother and Sisters,

Due to increasing health and safety concerns raised by the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, the IUPAT feels it is necessary to address the mandatory vaccination policies that are being adopted throughout the council. First and foremost, it is the IUPAT’s position that every member capable of being vaccinated should do so as soon as possible. We adopt this position out of deep concern for the health and safety of our members, their families, and the public, but also to protect our members’ continued economic success.

It is becoming increasingly common for property owners, the end users of our services, to adopt vaccination requirements that are being imposed on all general contractors or subcontractors entering their workplaces. These policies make proof of vaccination a prerequisite to our contractors bidding on projects or even remaining on an ongoing project. While we may be able to negotiate the effects of these requirements with our signatory contractors, there is little that can be done to change the end users’ policy. This means those members without proof of vaccination may face dwindling work opportunities. It is our responsibility to advocate for the broadest possible opportunity for our members, which in this environment means we must encourage every single member to get the shot.

The IUPAT expects that each District Council facing this issue will choose a course of action that best protects our members’ health and work opportunities. Our General Executive Board strongly believes that the health and safety of our members must be of paramount concern when weighing options to accept or fight a vaccine mandate, and the IUPAT is leading by example on this issue. We understand politics have infected any discussion involving vaccines and masking. Our aim is not to become embroiled in those debates, but to do what is best for our members.

Let me know your thoughts. Have a good day.

Jeremiah Fitch

Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer

IUPAT District Council 81