The influential American Postal Workers Union on Wednesday said, at this point, it opposes a coronavirus vaccine mandate from the Biden administration but encouraged workers to voluntarily take the jabs.
"While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent," the union said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
The union did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News. The union said in the statement that the safety of its workers is "of paramount importance" but "at this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations."
The Food and Drug Administration in December approved the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But there is a distinction between the EUA and full FDA approval. President Biden said at a recent CNN town hall that he believes the full FDA approval should be granted by the fall. A full FDA approval means that companies and government bodies will have a firmer legal footing to mandate the jabs.
Biden said he is considering requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated.
"That's under consideration right now but if you're not vaccinated you're not nearly as smart as I thought you were," Biden said Wednesday. "We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they're sowing enormous confusion."
Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, told C-SPAN that the union supports vaccine mandates, according to Reuters.
"If you come back in and you're are not vaccinated, everybody in that workplace is jeopardized," Trumka said.
Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported that Biden is expected Thursday to announce that about two million civilian federal workers "will need to be vaccinated or face testing, social distancing, mask requirements and limits on travel."
The Associated Press contributed to this report