Get the jab or lose your job: It’s the latest battle between employers and employees, especially at medical establishments all over the country. In this job market, employees generally have the upper hand, but not when it comes to the Covid-19 shot.
A group of Anchorage medical workers are fighting back. They are planning a protest at 5 pm Thursday at the corner of Tudor Road and Elmore Road, near the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium medical center and Southcentral Foundation.
The group is opposing forced Covid-19 vaccinations, which have been mandated by ANTHC and Southcentral Foundation for all employees.
Over 40 employees are expected to take part in the protest, according to the organizers, including Elizabeth Welsh, a founder of Open Alaska, which is a grassroots group that uses Facebook to organize and that is dedicated to fighting Covid lockdown mandates and standing for personal choice and medical freedom.
“I’m a mental health worker….I tried submitting a religious exemption for the flu shot and they sent me home on administrative leave. I love my job but not enough to put my health at risk with this new shot,” said one woman, who plans to take part.
“I am a single father and can’t afford to risk my health for my job,” another employee said.
Both plan to take part in the protest.
Some of the nurses have said they worked through the pandemic for 18 months without vaccinations but are now losing their jobs because they won’t get the shot, which they view as still experimental. That has become a popular sentiment in social media, where pictures with that concept are being passed around.
Professionals, from nurses to therapists and technicians, dental assistants and even a graphic designer who has no role in patient care are part of the group that say they are being fired for vaccination refusal at the Anchorage Native medical centers.
They are being told they are being voluntarily resigned, rather than fired, which means they may not be able to receive unemployment benefits, Welsh said. She is compiling information for possible future legal action.
Those who want to join the group that may seek legal action in this matter on behalf of employees may contact Welsh at [email protected].