On Friday, the day that Chicago employees must report their coronavirus vaccination status, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the union representing Chicago police officers are still at odds.
For weeks, the head of Chicago’s police union, Fraternal Order of Police Local 7 President John Catanzara, has told officers that they don’t need to comply with the city’s vaccine mandate, and on Friday, the rubber was supposed to meet the road. Really, it sounds like a bunch of postering and threats of litigation but, because most messy beefs end up on Twitter, the FOP took to social media to explain its position and blast Lori Lightfoot:
The police union continues to challenge Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s mandate, so of course that means the FOP president Catanzara made his case on Fox News.
“We have a profession that nobody wants to work in,” Catanzara said. “It gave us a little bit stronger position. You can’t lay off or get rid of thousands of cops because you’ll never replace them. We can’t even replace what we’ve got now.”
But Mayor Lightfoot isn’t backing down.
“Once we understand that people have not complied with the simple request to say yes or no or that I’m going to take the testing option then yes we will be moving forward into no-pay status,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
There have been talks of bringing in the National Guard should police, who have not been vaccinated, be forced off the job. The city has already said that they have no plans to ask officers to be sent home. The whole thing is a great big clusterfuck and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to get any better anytime soon.
“As Chicago’s Mayor, I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders. President Catanzara has time and again deliberately misled our police officers by lying about the requirements of the policy and falsely claiming that there will be no repercussions if officers are insubordinate and refuse to follow a City and Department directive or order,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
“Notably, Catanzara has urged officers to reject the City’s vaccine policy and has repeatedly instructed police officers to refuse to comply with the City’s lawful directive which requires all City employees to report their COVID 19 vaccination status by October 15. By doing so, and by predicting that 50% or more officers will violate their oaths and not report for duty, Catanzara is encouraging an unlawful strike and work stoppage which carries the potential to undermine public safety and expose our residents to irreparable harm, particularly during an ongoing pandemic.
“This action is brought pursuant to the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and Illinois common law which prohibits sworn officers from engaging in a strike. Additionally, the City and the FOP are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of employment including Article 5 which includes a No Strike Commitment.”
Hopefully, this fight ends with everyone being vaccinated because everyone needs to be vaccinated because get the GODDAMN VACCINE!