We urge you to vote against S.J. Res. 29—a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the largest, most significant occupational health crisis in the 50 years of OSHA’s existence. Hundreds of thousands of health care workers and other essential workers have been infected and tens of thousands have died from COVID-19 due to exposures at work. Millions of workers remain at grave danger from on-the-job exposures. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA has an obligation to protect these workers and clear authority to do so by issuing standards requiring employers to reduce workplace exposures to COVID-19.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFL-CIO and affiliated unions have been urging OSHA to issue strong standards to prevent COVID-19 exposure and transmission at work through well-established, proven measures including masks, physical distancing, ventilation, testing and vaccination. We believe the OSHA COVID-19 vaccination/testing ETS needs to be strengthened, not weakened or overturned. In the face of more transmissible COVID-19 variants, including delta and omicron, we need to do everything we can to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and institute additional strong protective measures to prevent worker COVID-19 infections.
Supporting S.J. Res. 29 to overturn this rule would do just the opposite. This resolution could bar OSHA from developing needed COVID-19 protections for workers on the job. Action under the Congressional Review Act would not only nullify this needed protection but bar OSHA from adopting similar standards regardless of the course of the pandemic. Congress should support and strengthen OSHA’s efforts to protect workers from COVID-19, not undermine them. We strongly urge you to oppose S.J. Res 29, not to overturn the OSHA emergency standard on COVID-19 testing and vaccination, to help protect workers from exposure, infection, serious disease and death.
Vote no on S.J. Res. 29.
Director, Government Affairs