The friction between Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police union leader John Catanzara is outlined by the Daily Mail.
It was Wednesday that Lightfoot made the move official. The deadline being October 15th for all City of Chicago employees to get vaccinated against COVID.
But Chicago’s finest have concerns about the mandate.
Catanzara is quoted as saying: “This vaccine has no studies for long-term side effects or consequences. None. To mandate anybody to get that vaccine, without that data as a baseline, amongst other issues, is a "Hell, no" for us.”
He made the union’s stance on vaccine mandates directly clear: “We are 100% against mandated vaccines for our members.”
Back on Monday the outlet describes how Lori Lightfoot tried negotiating with the various union groups. She said the talks had been ongoing for the past few weeks.
Chicago’s mayor saw only one outcome, though.
“We absolutely have to have a vaccine mandate,” Lightfoot decided. “It's for the safety of all involved, particularly members of the public who are interacting with city employees on a daily basis. It's important for colleagues to also feel like they have a workplace that's safe.”
The way the Chicago Sun Times talks about it, it’s a united front — the city’s police unions are against COVID vaccine mandates.
It’s in their reporting that John Catanzara described the mutual agreement in the force.
“This has literally lit a bomb underneath the membership. ... And what are they gonna do when four or five thousand coppers say, ‘Screw you. I’m staying home. You’re not making me get this f---ing vaccination. Don’t pay me. That’s fine. We’ll see you in court.’”
It’s not just a Windy City drama. There’s other cases like Chicago’s happening across the country. Over in the Big Apple, the NYPD’s largest police union publicly vowed to take legal action if Mayor Bill de Blasio imposed a vaccine mandate on their members.
At the beginning of this month, the Denver police union leadership expressed a similar reluctance to forcing their officers to get a COVID vaccine.
In mid-August, the city of Chicago reinstated their mask mandates for everybody indoors, including the vaccinated. This decision came at the onset of the Delta variant of the COVID pandemic throughout the country.
The Chicago Police Department had earlier this month lost faith in Lightfoot’s leadership. After the death of Officer Ella French, members of the force collectively turned their backs against the mayor when she showed up to the hospital where French’s partner was recovering.