Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association, offered this statement regarding the new emergency temporary standard announced Nov. 4 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
“NGA and its members have supported COVID-19 vaccines and have been proud of their role to vaccinate their workforces as well as the communities in which they serve. We are concerned that this new mandate will add more stress onto the food industry at a time when there are acute worker shortages and significant supply chain challenges.
“Additionally, trying to implement this mandate during the busy holiday season places even more pressure on retailers and wholesalers. NGA had called on the administration to provide greater flexibility for essential infrastructure industries like the food sector, since grocers play such a crucial role in feeding the country. While we appreciate the administration’s inclusion of some of our recommendations, we are concerned that the rule’s rigid compliance requirements that go into effect during one of our industry’s busiest seasons will be a burden to many community grocers,” Ferrara said.
This will inevitably end up in a total disaster if implemented. The penalties are too harsh ($14,000 per infraction). Osha is too strapped to regulate this policy effectively and there is zero chance we have the rapid testing capacity to deal with this. This would be a major mistake and is unconstitutional.