Should employers require workers to get vaccinated? Local councilman says yes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Should employers require workers to get vaccinated?

It’s something more companies and government agencies are requiring, but not yet the city of Memphis.

City council members learned Tuesday that only about 50% of city employees are vaccinated.

This set one councilman off.

As FOX13 found out, Councilman Edmond Ford Sr. called for employees to get the shot or get out, but not everyone on city council agrees.

”Shut this place down or lay their a**** off if they are not going to take this vaccination,” Ford said. 

Ford went off when he heard the numbers.

Ford is in the funeral business. He said he’s tired of burying people who died of COVID-19.

”Mandate it. If they don’t like it, hell, let ‘em sue us. Hell, we gonna win, because they’ll be dead by that time,” Ford said. 

But not everyone on the city council agrees a vaccine mandate is a way to go.

Councilman Martavious Jones said his understanding is the numbers are incomplete.

”This has not taken into consideration that all the employees have not actually uploaded their vaccination cards,” Jones said.

As for a vaccine mandate for all city workers, the mayor’s office told us they are waiting on more direction from OSHA on the issue.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said OSHA would issue a rule to require any organization that employs at least 100 people to require a COVID-19 vaccine or regular testing.

Meanwhile, the city of Memphis is offering financial incentives to employees to get vaccinated.

”Well I think that we have to do whatever we can to make city employees safe this is a highly communicable disease and we know the transmissions are through the roof we have tens of thousands of people who have been affected,” Jones said.

FOX13 has reached out to the Memphis Police and Fire unions for comment. When we hear back from them, we will let you know.