Union Pacific’s Vaccine Mandate Puts Thousands of Texans’ Jobs at Risk

President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring all government contractors to fully vaccinate their employees by November 22 has continued to have negative consequences across Texas and the nation. Hundreds of boats are stuck, awaiting entry to various ports. Pilots refusing to fly has led to thousands of flight cancellations. And now, another critical piece of American transportation infrastructure is being affected—the railroad. 

Although the railway does not necessarily count as a federal contractor, they would be required to fully vaccinate their thousands of employees under a forthcoming OSHA rule also requested by President Biden. In response to the heavy-handed move from the federal government, Union Pacific made a “unilateral” decision to require all of their employees to vaccinate.

In a 2020 report, Union Pacific accounted for 6,355 miles of railroads, billions of dollars of economic exchange, and 5,517 employees in Texas alone. 

When it comes to protecting critical Texas infrastructure, the Legislature does not have an impressive track record. Earlier this year, millions of Texans were impacted by a winter storm that swept the state, causing mass power outages. The storm killed livestock and disrupted supply chains; this could have been avoided if lawmakers had been proactive. Similarly, the Legislature failed to address vaccine freedom despite Gov. Greg Abbott adding it to the special session, leaving millions of Texans vulnerable to federal and corporate vaccine tyranny.