A “Wednesday Walkout” is to be held by non-union employees in the United States as a mark of protest of COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The walkout will be held for one hour starting at noon on Wednesday.
“No one should be forced, coerced, or pressured to inject the COVID shots,” says the website for the event.
One of the areas of concern, however, is hospitals as a one-hour walkout could be devastating for critical patients – including those infected with severe COVID-19.
While acknowledging the potential walkout, Mercy Health said those employees who chose to be a part of the protest should do so in consultation with their managers.
“On Wednesday, Aug 11, a nationwide walkout is planned to protest the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in health care, schools, and other places of employment. We encourage any Mercy Health associate on duty who chooses to participate to work cooperatively with their manager, ensuring that we continue to fulfill our commitment to the safety of our patients who entrust us with their care,” said a Mercy Health representative in a statement to the media about the walkout.
Those on bedside duties can also mark the protest and the event through a moment of silence, the statement said.
Over the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in walkouts by non-union employees and labor unions have organized “Walkout Wednesdays” as a tool of protest. Significant resources are deployed by unions for organizing non-union employees and to gain their support and participation in walkouts.
Employees who engage coworkers to protest against their own working conditions or as a mark of support for employees of another employer are protected by the National Labor Relations Act.
However, there is debate about whether the Act can be used as a protection by employees who decide to stage a walkout for supporting a political cause or other issues over which their employer does not have any control.