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Leader of Association of Oklahoma General Contractors details ‘concerns’ over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Patrick B. McGuigan, The City Sentinel  

The Association of Oklahoma General Contractors (AOBC) on Friday (September 10), in a comment sent to The City Sentinel and other news organizations, raised “grave concerns over President Joseph Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”

On behalf of his members, AOGC executive director Bobby Stem said, “Biden’s new Executive Order (EO) will impact highway construction in Oklahoma and across the United States by effectively shutting down much-needed work to build, maintain and replace dangerous roads and bridges. Yes, we do, and need to, take the new COVID variant very seriously. However, a blanket mandate on companies with more than 100 workers who do highway construction is grossly unreasonable and not a fit for every workplace.”

 In his statement, Stem continued, “These hard-working men and women work outside in an already socially-distanced workplace. If they are inside a piece of machinery equipment, they are alone – isolated from others. If highway workers are forced to vaccinate, many will leave the job without pause or hesitation.”

He continued, “This EO only adds to the distress of road and bridge builders having enough employees on hand to complete essential construction projects vital to our safety and the nation’s supply chain. It has already been challenging enough to find workers while people are able to collect a paycheck for staying home.”

Stem concluded his statement for AOGC with a serious warning: “Get used to those orange barrels and abandoned work sites. This mandate is too broad, overreaching and will bring highway construction to a screeching halt across the United States.”

Bobby Stem. File photo