In what is being described as a “first-of-its-kind effort” to vaccinate union workers, the city of Chicago is teaming up with the Chicago Federation of Labor to launch a vaccination site for essential union employees.
According to the press release, the CFL will join Mayor Lori Lightfoot in opening up the vaccination site to members who were eligible for vaccinations in Phases 1A, 1B and 1C of the city’s program.
“Since Chicago first received COVID-19 vaccines, our highest priority has been to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents and essential workers as quickly as possible,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Unions are trusted messengers and dedicated advocates for thousands of Chicago’s essential workers. I want to thank the Chicago Federation of Labor for their partnership, which will help to reduce vaccine hesitancy, support our equity goals and put our city on a path to true recovery from this terrible pandemic.”
The site is expected to handle approximately 1,200 vaccinations per week, with additional capacity expected as availability of vaccine doses increases.
According to the press release, interested union workers must live or work in the city of Chicago, hold a current union card or status as a union retiree, and qualify under any of the first three phases of the city’s vaccination program to apply. When reporting for appointments, members must have their union cards ready to be checked at the door.
Union and city officials say that they are hoping that the new program will help combat vaccine hesitancy, especially in Black and Latinx communities in the city.
“Chicago’s union workers have sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to keep this city moving during this unimaginable crisis,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter. “The Chicago Federation of Labor is proud to announce this union vaccination site to continue protecting the essential workers who have protected all of us during this pandemic. This unique partnership will vaccinate thousands of workers in the city of Chicago across dozens of industries, especially Black and Latinx workers who have been hit especially hard by the virus.”
Members are encouraged to visit the union’s website for more information.