Membership News

PRESS RELEASE - (10/27/2021)



Newhouse Introduces Legislation to Provide Antibody Exemption to Federal Mandate

October 26, 2021 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the Options Over Terminations ActThis legislation would provide an exemption to any Federal COVID–19 vaccine mandate for any Federal employee or contractor who provides proof of COVID–19 antibodies.

“Federal employees who have opted not to receive the vaccine because they have natural immunity developed after recovering from the virus do not deserve to be fired,” said Rep. Newhouse. “President Biden’s overreaching mandate has severe ramifications for communities across the country, especially for communities like Central Washington who make up a large part of the federal workforce. Instead of forcing our federal workforce to choose between employment and vaccination, my bill provides them with an option – a permissible, science-based exception from President Biden’s recent Executive Order.”

Click here to read the full text of the Options Over Terminations Act.

“The working families of the UA and our Building Trades have been on the front lines since the beginning of this pandemic, risking their families health and safety to ensure our Federal and State projects never missed a beat. For our members, becoming vaccinated is a personal choice between them and their families, their doctor and their faith. The narrow provisions required under this current executive order, places our members between that intimate personal choice and their ability to earn a living for their families. Safe and effective alternatives to this mandate are paramount in protecting the health and safety of our workplaces and the individual liberties of our members. Congressman Newhouse’s legislation will ensure our members have access to the personal options and respect they deserve.” —Nickolas A. Bumpaous, Assistant Business Manager of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 598 and the President of the Central WA Building Trades Council

“Reportedly, some 75 million workers in private workplaces across the country continue to show resistance or reluctance to the COVID-19 vaccines. While we encourage our workforce to get vaccinated, it simply is not practical to impose expansive “one size fits all” programmatic mandates based on the state of the pandemic. We must also acknowledge the need to develop patient-centered solutions based on the medical evidence. To this end, we strongly urge the acknowledgement of infection-acquired immunity in addition to vaccine-acquired immunity. We thank Rep. Newhouse for introducing this important piece of legislation.” —National Electrical Contractors Association


  • On September 9, 2021, President Biden released an Executive Order requiring all federal employees and contractors be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22, 2021 or face the risk of termination.

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