Vaccine Central

‘I think it’s ridiculous’: Business executives react to Biden’s vaccine mandate

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The president’s recently announced vaccine mandate could have a big impact on big employers at a time when many are struggling to fill open positions.

“We have roughly 425 employees and we work in aerospace, defense, power generation, oil and gas markets, nuclear and semiconductor industries,” Mike Griffith, president of Major Tool and Machine explained to News 8.

Griffith has been with the company for 27 years, and he’s well-aware of Biden’s mandate.

“I certainly (and) personally believe it’s a personal choice. I’m vaccinated myself. I chose to do that. But, I also believe it’s not my place or the government’s place to mandate that for companies,” Griffith said.

Biden’s order makes the vaccine — or weekly COVID-19 testing — mandatory for all businesses with 100 or more employees. Companies found in violation of the mandate could face thousands of dollars in fines.

Jerad Higman is the CEO of custom manufacturer Masaba. They have about 160 employees.

“I think it’s ridiculous, and I think for us, as business owners, it’s just one more hurdle we have to jump to maintain,” said Higman. “We’re struggling now to get people — employees. I think this is going to be one more thing. If this is mandated, we’re going to lose employees … For me it’s a personal choice. I don’t think you can mandate something like that. I really don’t, legally.”

Kevin Marks is President of Lock Joint Tube, which has over 600 employees in 4 states, including Indiana.

“I think everybody should go get vaccinated. The evidence is overwhelming. For me, it’s a pretty simple decision. If you’re healthy enough to go get vaccinated, go get vaccinated. But, I disagree with the President of the United States on this topic. We shouldn’t mandate it,” Marks said.

One of the business executives said they feel like the president’s announcement coming out now will “throw water on a pretty hot economy.”

The Indiana Chamber has and will continue to urge all employers across the state to encourage their employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Our stance has been that it should be left up to each employer to determine whether to adopt a vaccine mandate. We believe individual employers are in the strongest position to know the best route for them to protect their employees and to uniquely address any work environment challenges. With President Biden now putting forth a mandate, the Indiana Chamber and our Wellness Council of Indiana stand ready to offer assistance to Hoosier employers as they work to implement a policy to determine employee vaccine status and the logistics around testing for those who choose to not get vaccinated. Many employers throughout the state have already done their part to help increase the state’s vaccination numbers. Through our COVID Stops Here campaign with the Wellness Council of Indiana, we are encouraging more businesses and organizations to routinely communicate to their employees the benefits to them personally and for their employer of having most, if not all, staff vaccinated.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce